Criminal psychologist switches careers by publishing three children's books

Children's author Amanda Kidd with her two children Zak and Hannah

Amanda's two children Zak and Hannah were the inspiration for all her books - Credit: Danielle Booden

A mum who spent years working in criminal psychology has revealed she's happier than ever - after taking a leap of faith to become a successful children's author.

Amanda Kidd has a Master's degree in criminal psychology and worked as a probation officer for several years in her native Malta.

However, the mum-of-two admits that once she had children, the darker side of her work began to trouble her.

Children's author Amanda Kidd with her two children, who have inspired her books, and her husband David

Ipswich children's author Amanda Kidd with her two children and husband David - Credit: Danielle Booden

"I had always been interested in writing," she said.

"My teachers would catch me writing in the playground at school and I just always wanted to be writing.

"But then, life gets in the way and I got sidetracked.

"The psychology work was definitely my calling and I found it so interesting, looking at the darker side of society.

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"Then after I had kids I realised I didn't want to hear these dark stories anymore and decided to try the writing.

"Though the psychology work is so different to this, it has still influenced it — I always like to write a twist at the end of my books, even though they're for children."

Now living in Ipswich with her husband David and their two children, Zak and Hannah, Amanda has published three books - Ellie and the Cupcakes, Sam the Sneezing Scarecrow and Pip Saves Christmas.

The stories are all inspired by her children in some way, as well as snapshots of her life in places such as Malta, Glasgow and the Lake District.

Children's author Amanda Kidd

Amanda, originally from Malta, lived in the Lake District for several years before moving to Ipswich - Credit: Danielle Booden

The 40-year-old moved back to Malta in 2017 but missed life in England so much, she decided to move to Ipswich in August while husband David worked in Felixstowe.

Each story is filled with surprises and hidden meanings, special only to the author - with a reference to the house her late mother-in-law lived in, characters based on her children and illustrations recreating special family photos.

Amanda was recently invited to do a reading at Gainsborough Library and is keen to work with Ipswich schools in the future to do more.

She has been interviewed by radio stations and online publications, as well as having Ellie and Cupcakes read on Little Radio UK by CBeebies presenter Chris Jarvis.

Children's author Amanda Kidd

Amanda changed careers to writing books after spending years as a probation officer with a Master's degree in criminal psychology - Credit: Danielle Booden