ANN PILLING was brought up in Warrington, Cheshire, and many of her books are set in the industrial North West. After reading English at London University, she taught in Buckinghamshire (the setting for her book ‘The Empty Frame’ ), then spent some time in America before returning to England and settling eventually in Oxford.
Ann had always wanted to write but had not considered doing so for children. She was persuaded to try by Dorothy Edwards, who then continued to give support and enthusiasm for her writing. Her first stories were written for her sons who turned out to be her most valuable critics.
Her first published novel was ‘Black Harvest’ (now a Collins Modern Classic). It was the first in a series of ghost stories of which ‘The Empty Frame’ was the fifth. Among her many books are several novels of contemporary life, including ‘Henry’s Leg’ which won the 1986 Guardian Award and was subsequently both televised and broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
Ann has also served on the judging panel for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award and as Publications Officer for the Federation of Children’s Book Groups. She reviews books in addition to writing them and has made radio and television appearances, both as a writer and a practising Christian.
Ann lives in Oxford and retreats to the Yorkshire Dales, which she calls ‘the country of my heart’, whenever possible. She loves animals, and Arthur, the family cat, has a starring role in ‘The Empty Frame’.