Kate was originally from Liverpool way but I now lives in Leeds with her family, where she make books from her studio in an old mill. My illustration and writing journey began as a child, mostly in my local library. I thought the library was amazing, you turn up and get to take home a pile of books – for free! What could be better than that?
Bored by the lack of real-life mystery and feeling inspired by a particularly thrilling issue of The Beano (aged eight) she decided to have a go at creating her own comic.
It was a publishing success; three copies given away to some friends who lived on my street and from that moment on she knew it was the right decision to focus on having a job that involved drawing all day.
Kate studied illustration BA and MA illustration at the University of Central Lancashire. This is where she realised you can actually be a children’s book illustrator for a living and was fortunate enough to win second prize in the Macmillan Prize for Picture Book Illustration in 2002.
Since then she has illustrated a range of brilliant authors and been published as both an illustrator and a writer.
Kate is a little bit related to the incredible suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst. She was –her great, great, grandfather’s, brother’s, son’s wife. So while she can’t claim to have suffragette blood running in my veins, she can say that Emmeline’s astounding story has followed her all my life and has undoubtedly influenced my work. That connection certainly led to a conversation that made her realise that a book really should exist that told the stories of great women from history in an accessible way for young readers.