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Joan Lingard was born in Edinburgh but grew up in Belfast where she lived until she was eighteen. She began writing when she was eleven, and has never wanted to be anything other than a writer. She is the author of more than thirty novels for young people and thirteen for adults. Joan Lingard has three grown-up daughters and five grandchildren, and lives in Edinburgh with her Latvian/Canadian husband. She was awarded an MBE for services to children's literature in 1998.