In my teenage years, I found solace in Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye and Judy Blume’s novels, while To Kill A Mockingbird and Flowers for Algernon opened my eyes to justice, humanity and judging people. At University, I turned to Jilly Cooper for respite during exams and Mary Wesley’s books introduced me to characters whose shoes I wanted to step in to. When I gave up my PhD to write my first novel, the works of Mary Wesley, Rose Tremain, Jane Gardam and Barbara Trapido inspired me to write fiction with strong female leads and original, sometimes eccentric characters
I grew up surrounded by books and loved weekly visits to the library to choose something new – or an outing to the bookshop to spend a book voucher! Whether my childhood home or student digs in Manchester or various flat-shares and then my own home, books have always filled my space. I don’t own an ebook reader – I’m happy to continue to decorate my home with my book collection. Every book I own is a treasured possession of mine, an essential part of my history. Every book I own, quite literally, tells a story.
Since 2009 I have lived on a small farm in East Hertfordshire with my family – my offspring Felix and Georgia, my dogs Milo and Bee, my horses Nathan and Jack and my sheeps Brontë, Catkin, Emily, Eliza, Lovely and Willow. In my spare time, I enjoy ceramics classes (I’ve been going for years and basically make the same bowl over and over again, plus little porcelain sheep) or invariably I can be found in one saddle or other. I’ve ridden horses since I was little but I took up road biking after my back surgery in 2017 – and have become somewhat obsessed…