Helen Greathead

My Timeline

Imagine growing up in the sixties (in Middlesbrough), like I did: the telly was black and white and computers were the size of your house – so you definitely couldn't have one in your bedroom.

     I remember... being woken up in the middle of the night to come downstairs and watch Neil Armstrong walking on the moon on the telly.

     I liked reading: Ladybird Books – Queen Elizabeth I, King Charles II, oh and one about the Fire Brigade.





On the plus side, telly went colour. On the minus side, all children were forced to wear flared trousers and crochet their own cardigans. (Actually, we thought the fashions were really groovy!)

     I remember... eating tea at the top of the Albert Hall, just before playing my 'cello in a School's Prom – with an orchestra of 80 musicians, luckily – on my own I'd have been chased off stage in a shower of bad eggs and rotten tomatoes.

     I liked reading: Enid Blyton's Mallory Towers series, but I also became obsessed with origami and probably rated my origami books just as highly as Enid's.





Mobile phones were the size of house bricks. My boyfriend had one, but nobody else did.  I finished university in Norwich and moved to London to look for a job. I got my foot in a publishing door by dealing with complaints for sticker album company, Figurine Panini.

     I remember... riding a camel around the pyramids in Egypt and sailing up the Nile thinking I was Cleopatra.

     I liked reading: Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend and other much more serious grown-up stuff.





I was working at Scholastic Children's Books, when everyone started saying that books were on the way out and new-fangled CD-ROMS would take their place.  Not long after that, I was lucky enough to commission a funny history series from a writer called Terry Deary.  The Horrible Histories quickly took off and I got a promotion – yippee – and the opportunity to publish Horrible Science, The Knowledge and lots more fun stuff. Whatever happened to CD-ROMs?

     I remember... getting nostalgic for the seventies and buying a 1972 VW camper van called Betty.

     I had to read: typescripts, proofs and book proposals - tons of them!







The Sixties...

Baby Helen

The Seventies...

The Eighties...

The Nineties...

The Noughties and beyond...

By the magic that is email, I now work from home and live by the sea, in Plymouth.  I write when anyone will let me, edit for various publishers and have worked as a student mentor at Plymouth University. I also do school visits to talk about my writing and encourage children to have fun with theirs.

     I have difficulty remembering... my pin codes, passwords and usernames.

     I still want to read to my children, but now they're teenagers they won't let me. Shame!