Cheryl Blackford was born in Yorkshire, England but now lives in Minnesota where she’s raised two children, four cats, and two rats (despite the cats). As well as being an elementary school teacher she has worked for big and small companies and has written technical documentation, help files, and even scripts for The Oregon Trail© computer game. Cheryl loves her family, world travel, and hiking, but she especially loves to write children’s books.
Cheryl’s debut, LIZZIE AND THE LOST BABY (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt January 12, 2016), is a middle grade historical novel. Is it ever right to keep something that doesn’t belong to you? That question haunts ten-year-old Lizzie Dewhurst, a WWII evacuee sent to live with strangers in a remote Yorkshire valley. In a dual narrative, two worlds intermingle as Lizzie befriends Elijah, a local gypsy boy, and witnesses society’s discrimination against his people. When Lizzie discovers an abandoned baby, her friendship with Elijah is tested in a world clouded by prejudice and fear.
- Favorite Book Growing Up: Anything by Joan Aiken, E. Nesbit, or Frances Hodgson Burnett.
- Favorite place/Time of day to write: She writes best in her office in the mornings after a brisk walk and a cup of coffee, but sometimes she does really good work on a plane.
- Book Currently Reading: PAPERBOY by Vince Vawter.
- Favorite things to do: Walk or hike in a beautiful natural setting, visit family in England, or travel somewhere new and interesting.
- Surprising personal fact: She worked for a Fortune 500 company for 10 years before she realized she absolutely had to write children’s books. She quit and has never been happier – despite the rejection letters.
- Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: Knowing that children will finally read the story I’ve been gnashing my teeth over for three years.
Where to find her: