I was born in Derry (Northern Ireland) where I went to Thornhill College and then studied sociology in University College Dublin. I have lived all over the place since then and have worked as a teacher, a translator, a secretary and a tour guide before taking up full time writing.I wrote several short stories for adults which were broadcast by BBC Radio 4. Then I wrote Irrational Developments, a story inspired by the protests about water shortages in a small Spanish village. It was published in the Sunday Tribune and went on to win the 1990 Hennessy Literary Award. That encouraged me to keep writing.Since then I have written 19 books for children of all ages as well as lots of short stories which appear in many anthologies. I live in Dublin and also have a hideaway in that same small Spanish village where I am surrounded by orange orchards.