Hilary McKay was born in Boston, Lincolnshire, the eldest of four girls. From
a very early age she read voraciously and grew up in a household of readers. She
says of herself as a child "I anaesthetised myself against the big bad
world with large doses of literature. The local library was as familiar to me as
my own home." She read Botany and Zoology at St. Andrews
University (Scotland), then went on to work as a biochemist in an Analysis
Department. She enjoyed the work but at the same time had a burning desire to
write. After the birth of her two children, she wanted to devote more time to
bringing up her children and writing.
McKay says that one of the best things about being a writer is receiving letters from children. She wishes that she had written to authors as a child, but it never occurred to her to contact them. When not writing she loves walking (in and around the small village in Derbyshire where she lives with her family), reading and having friends to stay.
Her first book, The Exiles, was published in 1991 and went on to win The Guardian Childrens Fiction Award. It was followed by The Exiles at Home (1993) which won the Nestlé Smarties Gold Award for the 9-11 years category and the overall winner. Then followed The Exiles in Love (1996). In 1994 she started on a new trilogy: Dog Friday (1994), The Amber Cat (1995) and Dolphin Luck (1998).
In 2002 she published Saffys Angel which won the Whitbread Children's Book Prize. A sequel, Indigos Star was published in 2004. Then followed Permanent Rose, Caddy Ever After, Forever Rose, and Caddy's World.
Hilary McKay's website
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