This went on for quite some time, but fizzled out when the next thing came along and distracted her. A few months later I thought high school would be a fresh start, but she told everyone from other schools that I was a gypsy and lived in a caravan (I wasn't). I was buried in sandpits, called names (it didn't help that my mother didn't approve of buying new clothes, or shaving, so I had hairy legs and wore thrift shop outfits, and I was a straight A student). I was 'gorilla', 'frigid', 'hairy legs', 'gyppo' ...
I was sexually assaulted in lessons by a boy who kept putting his hands up my skirt, I was beaten up on the bus -it seemed never ending.
Eventually I learned to fight back - literally. I beat the hell out of the 'leader of the pack' and she didn't dare come at me, or let her mates come at me, again.
In sixth form I made a huge effort to reinvent myself, I forced myself to make friends, to be outgoing, I faked it till I made it and by the time I got to uni had made some true friends.
Rhian wrote her first novel during her first few years in teaching.
She got her first publishing deal at 26 and went on to write three more novels for Bloomsbury. She took a break to have three children and during this time taught Creative Writing and also a Children’s Literature course for the Open University. The Boy who drew the Future is her fifth novel. She is a National Trust Writer in Residence, a Patron of Reading and a WoMentor.
Eve Ainsworth is the author of 7 Days, a novel that explores bullying from both the bully and victims perspective. She regularly gives school talks and runs workshops on this matter. Her next book, Crush, will look at toxic and controlling relationships. 7 Days has recently been nominated for the 2016 Carnegie Medal.