Freya North was born in London, lived a while in Manchester but made East Herts her home 6 ½ years ago. She gave up a PhD in History of Art to write a novel instead – much to the horror of friends and family who pleaded with her to ‘get a proper job’. However, she is now the award-winning, bestselling author of 14 novels, including Pillow Talk, Secrets, Chances, Rumours, The Way Back Home and The Turning Point. She lives rurally and writes from a stable in her back garden.
Mum of two, Freya loves reading and is passionate about the role books can play in feeding the mind and firing the imagination of children. She jumped at the chance to organize the first Hertford Children’s Book Festival in 2012 and set about growing the Festival the following year. She says it is a lot of hard work – but so rewarding and such fun, not least because she gets to work alongside her great chum Maureen Pegg.
Maureen and Freya share the same sense of humour and the same taste in lots of things. Both are keen readers and their homes are filled with books. Both are also rather short with big voices to make up for that.
Born in Scotland, Maureen Pegg gained an Honours Degree in Russian, Japanese and Scottish History at Glasgow University. After working in record stores such as Our Price and Fopp Records, she secured a full time career with Sony Music and an eventual move down to the ‘Big Smoke'. After running Sony UK’s Alternative Sales and Promotions Department for four years, Maureen left to set up her own regional PR company called Momentum PR which, ten years later, is still going strong.
She’s worked with artists including Jeff Buckley, Manic Street Preachers, Kula Shaker, Finley Quaye, Paolo Nutini, The Offspring, Leftfield, Cypress Hill, The Darkness, Ry Cooder and Travis amongst many others. For the last five years, Maureen has focused on family life - which included relocating to the East Herts countryside 4 ½ years ago. When her daughter Tilly was due to start full time school, Maureen thought she ought to find something to keep her out of mischief.
When her close friend Freya North suggested she help organize the Hertford Children’s Book Festival, Maureen jumped at the chance. Maureen brings to the Festival office her PR experience, love of literature and passion to ignite a love of books in children. As well as her wicked sense of humour and a bag always full of yummy treats.