Writing children’s books was initially a choice Rundell made because she felt it could be a training ground for her as an author. “I didn’t feel that I had been an adult for long enough to write something as good as I wanted it to be,” she says. “My great hero growing up was Jane Austen and I wanted to write something both big and compact in the way she does, and I was aware that that was so beyond my capabilities that I thought children’s fiction would be a place where I could learn how to write. And now if anyone said that to me I would be livid, the idea that children’s fiction is a place where you learn and move on, I think that is entirely mistaken. But that was how I started.