Francesca Simon

Literary Birthday – 23 February – Francesca Simon

Happy Birthday, Francesca Simon, born 23 February 1955.


  1. I get my ideas from things that happen to me, or to people I know, or from my imagination. I think of ordinary situations, like birthday parties or getting nits, and then add a ‘horrid twist‘.
  2. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and started writing fairy tales when I was 8-years-old, so it is never too early to start. I used to be a journalist, but I became an author after my son Joshua was born in 1989. I started to get a lot of ideas, and began writing them down. It did take me over a year to have my first book accepted, however. I started writing because I kept getting ideas—I think it’s because I love reading, and I was reading a lot of children’s books to him.
  3. Ideas are everywhere, and you must listen out for them. Your stories will be more fun if you give them a twist. So, if you want to write about football, what about an alien football match, or a pets’ football match? It’s always easier to write the beginning and end first, and the middle last. Think of where your character is at the beginning, and what they are like, and how they are different at the end. The middle bit is what changed them. The best way to learn to be a writer is to be a reader.
  4. I hate starting a new book, I am happiest when I am improving my rough drafts.
  5. I loved writing in first person. There is something exhilarating about seeing the world exclusively from someone else’s point of view.

Francesca Simon is an American author living in London. She is well known for writing the popular Horrid Henry series of children’s books.

Source for image: Francesca Simon photo Francesco Guidicini

by Amanda Patterson

Are you interested in more authors’ birthdays? Please click here: Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 22nd February 2018