Astrid Nicholls grew up in the French countryside, north of Paris, in a rural village near Gisors. Her love of books developed at a very young age, and she managed to read most of the French great classics by the age of 12.
Astrid recalls that she was always an introvert as a child, spending most of her time alone listening to music, drawing, practicing her dance moves, or writing down her thoughts in her diaries. She sometimes went to play with her brother and neighbours but preferred her own company most of the time. She also always had a very healthy imagination – making up different endings to various movies and TV programmes she had seen.
Astrid was a bright enough student, with some of the highest scores in her native French but only average ones when it came to maths. She started to learn English at age 12, but only came to love the language later. It was also at that point that she was introduced to science-fiction when she stumbled on a French copy of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight as she was looking for something new to read in her school library. Science-fiction and fantasy very quickly became her favourite genres, and remain so to this day.
Her love of writing really started at age 14, when her French teacher set the class to write a story for homework. From then on, Astrid started to actually write fanfiction, rather than just think it up. Sci-fi drama The X-Files, anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion and Sailor Moon, and Anne McCaffrey’s world of Pern became the settings to many short stories and even a near-enough full length novel.
During her ‘lycée’ years, the French equivalent to high school, she started to write original fiction and took part in writing competitions, even winning a couple. The beginnings of several of her novel ideas can be traced back to these years, including The Creator Saga and the Heavenly Wars series. It is also during these years that she came to love the English language. And although she had no definite plans for the future even then at the age 18, she could see herself teaching English.
In the late-nineties, Astrid’s family moved to the South of France. Astrid then got the opportunity to go to the UK and work as an au pair for a year. During this time, she started to write her fanfiction and original short stories in English rather than her native French. She eventually made the move to England permanent after meeting her partner in London.
After the birth of her second boy, Astrid returned to writing as she looked after her young children. Then she decided that writing was really the only thing she could see herself doing for a living. Determined to make a success out of it, she went on a couple of training courses to learn how to manage her writing career as the business she hoped it would become.
After the birth of her daughter, the family moved to the Isle of Wight where they still live. Astrid still enjoys reading and writing fanfiction, although she writes more of her original fiction these days.