Sophia McDougall was supposed to be an Oxford English literature academic before running away in 2002 to write fiction. She is the author of the bestselling Romanitas trilogy (published by Orion/Gollancz and twice shortlisted for the Sidewise Award for Alternate History), set in a contemporary world where the Roman Empire never fell. Her short stories have been published by Jurassic Fiction, Solaris and NewCon press. Mars Evacuees (to be published by Egmont and Harper Collins US) is her first novel for children. She also creates digital art and mentors aspiring writers.