About Me...

Helen Bailey I'm going to keep this short as there are other things you could be doing rather than reading about me such as saving the planet, writing a novel or shopping for shoes.

I was born and brought up in a village called Ponteland, about nine miles from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, with my younger brother, John. I hated pre-school because an evil woman kept telling me off for eating the dried pasta which was supposed to be used for making pictures, I kept trying to escape from primary school where I continued to munch on uncooked pasta (what was it with my schools and dried carbs?), but enjoyed a dried-pasta-free middle school until a series of disasters struck. These included but were not limited to: not being made a pet monitor; never winning the WH Smith Win A Pony competition despite clearly having the best entry, and my feet growing at an alarming rate whilst my legs remained like spindly pea-sticks. Thirty years later I've got over the whole pony and pea-stick-leg scenario, but it still bugs me that those sniffy rat-girls wouldn't let me clean out poo-filled cages or pet the rodents. Talk about power corrupting.

High school seemed terrifying after middle school. There were proper exams to study for, we weren't allowed to don tracky bottoms for cross-country running even in arctic weather, and the pale blue shirt we had to wear was deeply unflattering for my skin tone. On the plus side, I had some fantastic friends, the rat-girls were stripped of their Pet Monitor power and—I can't think of anything else.

 A Younger Helen Bailey After respectable but unspectacular 'O' Levels (the old-fashioned equivalent of GCSEs), I gained some spectacularly disastrous 'A' Level results—'Disappointing', was how my Head of House kindly put it—and packed Ted, my teddy, and my tennis racket (even though I never played tennis, I wanted to look as if I might), and spent four years at a London Poly doing a science degree which I loved. I rather fancied the idea of being called Dr Bailey and whizzing around in a white coat, so I decided to do some more studying. I narrowed my choice of potential-PhD places to a really interesting research project at a hospital which was famous but old and smelt odd, and a not so interesting project that was in a spanking new and flash hospital with a fantastic canteen. Having a shallow side to my personality I chose the latter, but walked out a year later after the novelty of swanning around A&E in my white coat and people thinking I was a doctor had worn thin, and I'd got fed up of the greasy meals in the canteen. I'd also set the fire-alarm off by mistake, which summoned two fire engines and prompted an evacuation of part of the hospital even though there was no fire.

I intended to take a year off and temp before going back in to science, but after learning to type I found I enjoyed being in an office instead of a science-lab and preferred wearing nice clothes to lab-coats. I started working in the media and never left. Over the years I've worked on licensing campaigns for characters such as The Rugrats, Nintendo, Dirty Dancing, Snoopy, Garfield, feature films and cartoon strips, and been photographed next to hundreds of ten-foot-high characters made out of nylon fake-fur.

I live mostly in London, sometimes in the North-East, have a dachshund, Boris, a husband, John, and now prefer my pasta cooked.


 


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I'd love to hear from you about anything and everything! Stuff you like about this site, stuff you don't (be gentle!) and stuff you'd like me to feature. I haven't included a Question and Answer page yet, so if you'd like to ask me something, ask away and when I've got a few questions I'll post a new section.

helen@helenbaileybooks.com

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