I was born in Leeds and have always been very proud of my Yorkshire roots. My parents were born there too, and their parents before them – perhaps this is why I can cook such humungous Yorkshire puddings?
My father died in 1986. He was an artist and the principal of the Jacob Kramer College of Art. He only had one eye so his students called him Popeye. My mother studied art too and even though she is 85, still paints and draws all the time. My parents always encouraged their children to be creative and we tried to be. My sister is a painter and my brother does arty things with computers. You can see some of the Lisle family work at lisleart.com.
My father painted this picture of me on the right, when I was about six.
I went to School in Leeds, then studied botany at Newcastle University and spent a year at Oxford University getting my teaching diploma. Before settling to a real job, I went to New York. I lived on Manhattan in a loft for a year and a half and had a fabulous time working, travelling and going to all the New York museums.
When I came back to England, I did lots of jobs – waitressing, child minding, shop assistant, secretary, etc, but mainly I taught biology. I always taught part-time so that I had time for writing because I dreamed of becoming a ‘real’ writer; I meant a published one.
My first publication was a short story in a magazine. Seeing my name in print made me deliriously happy. I can honestly say it was one of the greatest moments of my life. If I saw someone with a copy of the magazine I wanted to rush up to them and, well, I don’t know, just stand there and grin probably. I wrote quite a number of magazine stories before I got married and had my three boys. Somehow that was the end of my ‘romantic’ phase.
I’ve written 24 real books to date. My three boys are three grown-up young men, all live in London. My husband has just retired. Our 19 year old cat has died. All change for 2013.
Follow me on twitter: @LisleRLisle
This is a book I made when I was about 8 years old and the highly original title is: TWO ON A TREASURE TRAIL. I was hugely influenced by Enid Blyton. It is not a very good story and the spelling is terrible.
Below is the cover of another book which I wrote and illustrated: HANNAH AND THE FLOWER DOGS. This is a little better than TWO ON A TREASURE TRAIL however, it lacks a rather important ingredient, a good PLOT.