Georgia ByngGeorgia Byng was born in London but grew up in the countryside outside Winchester, a small city in England. Near her house was a cottage-lined lane; Mill Lane. This was where she first found out about characters, for it was teeming with them. From Mrs Oxteby with her yapping dogs, to the family ‘The Gales’ who ate ‘sucky toast’ for breakfast (toast drenched in butter that the children were allowed to just suck), to the wonderful bohemian Val Hitchcock who lived in the mill and who had a craft shop, to the farmer who always shouted and swore at Georgia and her friends and brothers and sisters when they were mucking about in his fields.

She now lives in a house in London full of art, curiosities and books with her children – Lucas (13) and Sky (9), their two dogs, Jet and Buster as well as tarantula called Hades. There used to be a hibernating Canadian frog in the fridge. Her 23 year old daughter, Tiger, lives nearby. Which is lucky because Georgia loves her near. Georgia has been married twice, once to an artist called Dan Chadwick and then to an artist called Marc Quinn.

The idea for Molly Moon was born one rainy afternoon at Georgia’s mum’s house in the countryside.

“I was sitting at a table in my mum’s kitchen. It was a wet afternoon and the rain was pelting down outside. I was having a cup of tea and a biscuit. Paddy, the black spaniel, sat on the floor, looking longingly up.

“Picking up the biscuit, I watched his eyes follow it. I took a bite. His eyes were glued to the digestive. As I moved it slowly from side to side, so his eyes swung left and right. He looked hypnotised! A funny thought sprung into my head. I wondered whether a dog could be hypnotised by an adult or…by a child. Actually, I thought, could a child hypnotise a person? A child would have so much fun. In fact they’d be incredibly powerful. Bingo! The idea was alive.”

Georgia Byng