My fairly obsessive love of the written word and the desire to share this enthusiasm with others developed very early on in life. At age nine I stuck labels in my books and started a lending library for our road, complete with hand-made tickets. (It was a great library – no fines). I used to write poems, stories and even new adventures for the characters from books I loved. Later, I studied for my degree in English Literature and Language at the University of Manchester, took postgrad qualifications and had a career in a large corporation and then taught English while my children were small. All the while I wrote secretly and kept my work hidden in the proverbial ‘bottom drawer.’
On a course run by the Arvon Foundation, Rose Tremain encouraged me to start sending work out and I began to have work published and to have some success in competitions. I began to write novels, alongside teaching Creative Writing for various universities and freelance. My first novel, A Mile of River was a Radio 5 Live Book of the Month and was shortlisted for the Portico Prize for Literature and The Poet’s Wife was shortlisted for the East Midlands Book Award. Short fiction has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, the Commonwealth Short Story Awards and featured on Radio 4.
Having lived in various cities along the way, I seem to have come full circle and returned to my heartland – the rural Midlands. I live with my family in Northamptonshire and from my desk I look out over the gentle slopes of the green fields that I love. I feel very lucky to be able to make writing my profession now, and working on my latest book still gives me the same joy and excitement that I felt when I discovered storytelling back when I was nine.