I was born in Somerset but grew up in a village on the Blackwater estuary in Essex...
My memories of childhood are of shingle beaches and mudflats, grey-green heather, salt marshes, messing about in boats, gangs of rowdy kids playing all day along the sea-walls, and the ever-present cries of seagulls.
Later, I moved inland to Suffolk. I took an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and after the MA, my husband and I, with our two young daughters, upped sticks and bought a beautiful but semi-ruined old stone farmhouse in south west France.
I would have the time to write a novel but there was a roof with holes in it to consider, metre thick stone walls that were falling down, the small matter of putting in a kitchen and a bathroom....
I spent the first few years of our new life in France, tiling, plastering, replacing beams, and an awful lot of time mixing concrete, all of this under deep blue skies and the warmth of a strong southern sun.
We also had to learn French, settle our daughters into school and deal with the ups and downs of living in in a new country miles away from friends and family.
...we made a beautiful home in France. And finally, I wrote a book. 22 Britannia Road was my debut novel and became an international bestseller.
My second novel 'Spilt Milk' came out in February 2014 (Penguin Books) and a novella 'Tin Town' (Grand Central, Penguin US) was published in the summer of 2014.
After fifteen years in France, in 2016, it felt time to come home. I moved back to the UK. This time to a 17th century stone cottage in the middle of National Trust parkland. The house has a huge garden, overgrown and sadly abandoned for years... Now, in between working on the garden and planting rose arbours, I am teaching writing workshops and working on a third novel.