"I write fantasy adventure books for children aged 7 and upwards, with lots of magic and humour, because those are the books I like best myself. I have always loved reading and stories: as a child I either had my nose in a book or I was in the middle of some fantastic made-up adventure game with my sister and our friends. (That’s when I didn’t have to be at school, of course – although some of the adventures carried on in installments in the playground…)

One of my dreams when I was a child was to become a children’s author – another was to become a great explorer. As a grown-up, I became an anthropologist (almost an explorer!) and lived in a south Indian fishing village for a year, rather like the one in the photo. It was quite an adventure – I travelled around on a motorbike, and lived partly in the village, and partly in the nearby capital city, Trivandrum. I wrote a book about life in the fishing community in Kerala, and then taught social anthropology for ten years. I worked together with my partner, Philip (also an anthropologist) at the University of Edinburgh, then LSE and Goldsmiths and finally the University of Kent at Canterbury.

We left Canterbury and moved to Devon in 2006 with our three children (then 11, 7 and 3) and I decided to try my hand at my other dream – writing. Frogspell was my first book, published by Templar in 2011. It was a Richard and Judy Children’s Book Club choice for Spring 2012.

Now I spend my time writing, editing other people’s books (mostly non-fiction), visiting schools and festivals, and trying to stop our rather falling-down house from actually falling down. Oh – and I occasionally get a chance to do some pottery at a friend’s workshop, take a trip on my dad’s barge Marius, or go to the beach!"

Fantasy adventures for children aged 6-12

“Great fun – made me chortle!” Diana Wynne Jones, on Frogspell

“A rift-hopping romp with real charm, wit and pace!” Frances Hardinge on Deep Amber

School Visits


For more information, visit: www.cjbusby.co.uk