Maggie was born in Edinburgh, the middle of three daughters born to a Scottish father and an English mother. By the time she was 11, she had attended five different primary schools. Not, she hastens to add, because she was expelled from them all, but because her father's job took the family all over the country! Such a nomadic lifestyle meant that Maggie saw lots of Britain, but it also meant she was never anywhere long enough to make long-lasting friendships, so books became her lifelong friends.

A voracious reader from the age of four, Maggie decided that she wanted to be "A Writer" when she was eight. That dream stayed with her until she was 18, when she decided that people like her—ordinary people—didn't write books, and so she trained to be a teacher instead. After three years at the chalk board, she decided teaching wasn't for her and was lucky enough to be offered a post lecturing in American and Scottish literature at Glasgow University. Unfortunately—or fortunately! —when the department was restructured she was made redundant and left looking for work.

A chance conversation with a friend led to a job with the Sue Ryder Foundation where she spent many happy and exhausting fundraising years. That career was cut short when she damaged her back in a stupid and avoidable accident, which, she says, was nobody's fault but her own.

Not wanting to return to teaching, she worked in a baker's shop, which put her off cream cakes for life; made and sold soft toys—she says she still can't pass a stuffed toy elephant without wincing; and finally trained to become a secretary. A series of part-time secretarial posts followed, but she never forgot her dream to become a writer. When she and her family moved to a remote cottage in the north of Scotland, it was her family who nagged and dared and finally persuaded her to take up her pen again. And the rest, as they say, is history!

Book List in Order: 23 titles