Jill Tomlinson, Paul Howard - Author Picture

Jill Tomlinson, Paul Howard - Authors

Jill Tomlinson never intended to be a writer. She trained as an opera singer, and then decided to have a family whilst her voice matured. But illness intervened, and she had to find another outlet for her energies. She started on a journalism course, and by the third lesson decided she wanted to write for children. So she did!

The next manuscript was produced in increasing physical difficulties, and had just been accepted when the cause of the difficulties was identified – multiple sclerosis. The book was The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark. Thereafter every book was a battle. Writing became impossible. All her research – and each book about a young animal was meticulously researched – was done by the family in response to her persistent and often unanswerable questions. Not that you could guess all this from the finished product, where her sympathy and sense of humour overrides everything. Jill used to claim that she was unique in being an author who could neither read or write.

Jill died, suddenly and unexpectedly, in hospital where she had gone for respite care whilst her husband was away from home. She was 45. But anyone who has read her books knows what she was like – bubbly and caring and irrepressible.

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