Born on December 4, 1917, in England to a Venezuelan-born German mother and a French Army officer father, Picard lived with her mother in England before traveling to France to be with her father. When her parents marriage fell apart, Picard and her mother returned to England. Picard's father passed away shortly after their departure.
Growing up, Picard started her education at age four with a governess, learning to read by age five. She loved reading and as she continued with her schooling, Picard decided she wanted to become a writer. An excellent student, Picard declined a scholarship to Oxford and chose to work. She took a job at the Eastbourne Public Library at the beginning of World War II and had to sort books. Some books were kept; others had to be recycled for the war effort, and she had a hard time picking out books for scrap. Another job of Picard's got her back into writing.
A firewatcher who helped prevent the spread of fire from incendiary bombs, Picard had spare time between air raids which she used to write. She had read as many stories as she could find that pleased her, and she wanted something new and different. Writing four stories of her own, Picard was surprised that she not only enjoyed the process, but she also liked what she'd written. Taking some of her tales, she found publication from the British Broadcasting Corporation. With this success, Picard grouped fifteen of her fairy tales into one collection to send to the Oxford University Press. Oxford apologized because they weren't accepting items for publication due to the paper shortage from the war. They suggested that she re-send her work in a year.
Patiently waiting and meanwhile writing plays, Picard lasted the year and then saw her collection published. Well-received, Picard's work garnered her attention. She continued writing two more collections of fairy tales and accepted an offer to re-tell Homer's Odyssey. Thrilled, Picard set about making a name for herself as a famous re-teller of classical myths and author of historical novels for children. Her novel Ransom for a Knight earned a Carnegie nomination and One Is One was runner-up for the Carnegie Medal. The author of over twenty-five books, Picard makes her home in Sussex, England, and has always found pleasure in paintings and the opera when she wasn't writing.
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