Sally Nicholls has wanted to write for as far back as she remembers. As a child, she loved reading authors such as Noel Streatfeild, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Isaac Asimov. She wrote Ways to Live Forever while getting a Masters degree at the University of Bath Spa, where she won the award for "writer with the most potential."
After she finished school, she worked in a Red Cross in Japan, and traveled through out Australia and New Zealand. Currently, she spends three days a week as an administrator for a charity. She devotes the rest of her time to writing. Instead of coming up with a finished story concept, Sally says that she envisions scenes, then makes up characters, situations, and locations. She pulls these together as she thinks of them, and when she thinks she's written all of the scenes that should be in the book, she reorganizes them so that they better flow with the story she wants to tell.