Tagg, Christine Elizabeth 1962-

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TAGG, Christine Elizabeth 1962-

PERSONAL: Born May 25, 1962, in Yorkshire, England; daughter of George (an engineer) and Margaret (Plowright) Tagg; partner of Michael Ellwand (an antique dealer); children: Suzy Rae Ellwand. Politics: "Try to avoid them." Religion: Church of England. Hobbies and other interests: Swimming, reading, horses, breeding guinea pigs, 1950s design.

ADDRESSES: Home—Casatina, 32 The Spinney, Sandal, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Children's book author. Ridings Shopping Centre, Wakefield, England, secretary, 1985-97. Volunteer for Riding for the Disabled Association.

WRITINGS:

Who Will You Meet on Scary Street?, illustrated by Charles Fuge, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2001.

Silly Stories, Templar Publishing (Dorking, England), 2001.

Monster Stories, Templar Publishing (Dorking, England), 2001.

Metal Mutz!, illustrated by David Ellwand, Templar Publishing (Dorking, England), 2001, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2003.

Buzz Off, I'm Busy ("BusyBugz" series), illustrated by Bill Bolton, Templar Publishing (Dorking, England), 2002.

When I'm Big ("BusyBugz" series), illustrated by Bill Bolton, Silver Dolphin Books (San Diego, CA), 2002.

Home Sweet Home ("BusyBugz" series), illustrated by Bill Bolton, Silver Dolphin Books (San Diego, CA), 2002.

Little Owl in the Snow, illustrated by Stephanie Boey, Templar Publishing (Dorking, England), 2002.

SIDELIGHTS: Christine Elizabeth Tagg told CA: "On my seventh birthday I was given a typewriter. It was the best present I ever received. Over the years, my 'typewriters' have gotten more sophisticated, but the thrill of putting words on a page has never diminished.

"Following the birth of my daughter, Suzy Rae, I gave up work to care for her and began working on a few children's story ideas. At this time I also joined a creative writing group which gave me confidence and inspiration. Shortly afterwards, Templar Publishing gave me the opportunity to work on a number of projects, and one of these was Scary Streets. I haven't looked back since.

"As a child, I loved the work of C. S. Lewis, Enid Blyton, and Dr. Seuss. I have recently rediscovered Beatrix Potter's charming tales. I love to read to Suzy, and we enjoy anything by Alan Ahlberg and Babette Cole, also the poetry of Roger McGough, Edward Lear, and Spike Milligan.

"I am always searching for characters and situations to put them in, usually as I stroll around the supermarket. I work mainly in the morning when Suzy is in school or late evening and into the night. I find that tea and toast goes very well with the blank page. Writing can be a lonely and often frustrating business, but it is addictive and the development of one good idea keeps me on a creative high for days.

"I would advise any young aspiring writers to keep at it, join a writing group and let your stories be heard. If you believe you have an original style and worthwhile ideas, one day someone else will, too. Publishing success eluded me in the early days, but I never considered giving up. To see your first book in print is a fantastic feeling. I'm doing what I love, getting paid for it and, of course, writing for children is the perfect excuse to never quite grow up."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 15, 2001, Ilene Cooper, review of Who Will You Meet on Scary Street?, p. 237.

Observer (London, England), October 28, 2001, Stephanie Merritt, review of Metal Mutz!, p. 16.

Times Educational Supplement, October 26, 2001, Ted Dewan, review of Metal Mutz!, p. 22.*