Dominique Valente is a lover of grumpy monsters, quirky dragons, magic and mad things, gardens that whisper and houses that breathe. She has one arm which is sometimes useful for getting out of doing the dishes, but alas only if it’s with strangers as her family sadly just don’t fall for it. Her disability partly inspired the world of Starfell, in many ways, magic and the way magical people in her fictional world are treated is a metaphor for her experience growing up with a difference, with Willow and her friend’s journeys an echo of her own journey towards self-love and acceptance.

She sometimes feels she must have some Benjamin Button type disease where you get younger as you grow older as the closest she ever got to being a grown-up was during a brief glitch in her twenties and early thirties as a journalist, thankfully she came to her senses and now spends most of her days making up stories about witches and dragons.

Originally from South Africa and in possession of a slightly weird accent, she writes in a green writing hut, in her garden in Suffolk, which takes forever to warm up; a bit like her brain, and while she’d love a hut on a cliff with a sea garden and a pet whale, she will settle for a cup of coffee, a slice of cake, and something good to read.

Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day was long-listed for the Branford Boase Award, and was the Waterstones Book of the Month for March 2020.

Dominique is represented by Helen Boyle at Pickled Ink.