Hello, my name is Maya.

I live in a wonderful place called Brighton, in England, situated between the sea and the South Downs. It's beautiful, and so are the people. 

I love listening to music. Every moment of my life has a song, every day a soundtrack. If I'm writing, I'm usually listening to Philip Glass.

My real name is Maya Gabrielle but my pen name is M. G. Leonard. I created a pen name because my eldest son and I don’t share a surname, and I made him a promise that if my books got published I’d take his middle name as my pen surname. I think it is important to keep promises. When you talk to me, call me Maya. When talking about my writing, please call me M. G. Leonard. Thanks.

The first book I ever wrote was about a witch whose spells backfired. I was twelve. Now, I like to hand-make books for the people I love. I write every day, usually early in the morning, or on the train into London, or in the Dyke Park Cafe with a view of the sea.

My stories are for young people, or people who are young at heart, who embrace nature and its wild and crazy majesty. But right now, for me, it’s beetles that are blowing my mind. There isn’t anything as wild, crazy or majestic as the beetle.

And yes it's true that I used to be scared of insects, but now, I love them and look after two Rainbow Stag Beetles called Motty and Hector.