Abigail King (born 1 March 1977) grew up in Wimbledon. Her Mother was an actress and model during the 1960’s and later a notable Interior Designer who died after a lengthy battle in 1991 from Leukaemia. Her father is a Property Developer residing in Gloucestershire and she has two siblings, Oliver and Louise.
A creative entrepreneur at heart Abigail wrote, produced and directed her first short film entitled ‘A Simple Girl’ for the BBC Short Film Festival at 18 years old and was lucky enough to have her film selected for screening at the Empire Leicester Square. But with acting in her blood she soon found herself in demand both modelling and acting. In 2000 Abigail featured in a string of commercials most notably a Vodafone commercial starring David Beckham, ESPN, NSPCC, Tia Lusso. A keen amateur chief she appeared on Hell’s Kitchen as a contestant in 2005. More recently she has featured (2012) in adverts with Heston Blummenthal for Waitrose and Matalan’s Christmas advertising campaign.
When not acting Abigail has built and managed various businesses to include Colesbourne Asset Management (Property), Maxgratis (Marketing Website) and My Domestic Goddesses (Personal Lifestyle Management) which was highlighted within Daily Candy and The Londoner resulting in a boom of clients including a variety of personalities, artists and busy professionals.
Tragedy struck in 2008 when Abigail’s fiancé committed suicide a few weeks prior to their wedding. Writing became an outlet to her grief and in 2012 Abigail began writing a series of books for children entitled The Adventures of A Royal Dog featuring the Duke and Duchesses spaniel Lupo. The first in the series is widely available in hard back form and is titled Lupo& The Secret of Windsor Castle. The second book in the series will be out in June 2015 and is titled Lupo& The Curse at Buckingham Palace.
Your first book Lupo and The Secret Windsor Castle was published in September this year, when did you start writing it and what was your inspiration for the story?
It all started with a eureka moment whilst walking my dog Lilly around Kensington Palace Gardens in February 2012. I wrote one page on the idea which then continued on until it became six books – Lupo’s life before he arrived at Kensington Palace, his life in Anglesea and many more before I got to Lupo& The Secret of Windsor Castle. I write very quickly when I am excited about a story!
When I got stuck I would visit a palace or take Lilly for a long walk around London’s famous royal residences. She is my inspiration and my rock. With Lilly as my guide, becoming Lupo was easy. I walked around the royal homes imagining life through his eyes. What it was like to live in Apartment 1A – asking myself questions like “I wonder if Lupo sits under the kitchen table waiting for the Duke to slip him some marmalade on toast whilst the Duchess sips her tea in fluffy pink slippers and Prince George gurgles along to breakfast telly…”
Do you have a dog like Lupo or wish that you did?
I am very fortunate to have Lilly &Maggy (Moo-pot) they are my beloved cocker spaniels. Lilly is 6 years old and Maggy is 5months. They are always with me – as I speak Lilly is snoring next to me on a big red armchair and Maggy is trying to chase a toy mouse across the room!
Your next book, Lupo and the Curse at Buckingham Palace is out in June next year. Could you tell us a little bit about what happens in this book?
It is a mysterious adventure - Some of Prince Bertie’s old journals are found at Buckingham Palace on the eve of the Queen’s Birthday. They make reference to a mysterious curse and an ancient Egyptian cat. The mystery sends all the royal animals diving into a world beyond the palace. A world of sand and treasure but Lupo and his friends have to hurry to stop the curse from taking over the palace and changing the face of the monarch altogether!
Do you know if William and Kate have read Lupo and The Secret Windsor Castle?
No I don’t. I’d hope though that if they haven’t already read it that they will discover it like any other parent when their child is old enough to enjoy Lupo’s adventures. Prince George is a little young at the moment – in my mind he’s too busy playing with Lupo in the nursery and discovering hidden treasure!
Have you ever had the chance to meet the real Lupo?
I walk around Kensington Gardens often and there are a few Lupo’s about. It’s funny ever since the Duke and Duchess got Lupo there seems to be more of them in the park – perhaps that’s the case or maybe it’s because I am unconsciously looking to see if he’s around- chasing a squirrel or two or diving in to the pond to have a paddle with the ducks.
You have had a range of exciting jobs from an actress to a personal assistant. Have you always wanted to be a children’s author?
No, children’s author was not something I had ever thought I would be! It just happened all very naturally. I like to think it was meant to be. I love writing though and I hope I can write more. It’s fun!
What has been the stand out moment in your career as an author so far?
I received message with a picture on twitter from a little girl engrossed in Lupo& The Secret of Windsor Castle. I always said that I would be happy if one child enjoyed reading it. For me that was it – I had reached my goal. It was a very satisfying feeling.
If you could give one piece of advice to a young writer with dreams of becoming a published author what would that be?
Of course - It would be – Stay open to the possibility that - one little idea you might have at the oddest moment, could be the start of a wonderful, terrifying, fantastic adventure justitching to be let lose on the world. Get writing!
To find out more about Aby follow her on Twitter @AbyKing or visit www.hachettechildrens.co.uk