The short version:
I’m an author and freelance writer. I’ve written two YA books: BIRDY and THE YELLOW ROOM. I’m 32 and I live in Brighton.
The long version:
I grew up in Bournemouth on the south coast and had a very pleasant and uneventful childhood. It is customary to tell you how I’ve been writing stories since I could hold a pen, but this isn’t true (although when I was eight I did write my own tribute to Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence – a compelling memoir entitled ‘Two Weeks in Majorca’). English was my least favourite subject at school and the one I did the worst in.
After school, I moved along the coast to Brighton to study at Sussex University. I decided to do a law degree as I didn’t have any particular calling and thought at least it would be a route to a nice secure job. The only problem was, the law degree was quite boring. Some bits were good – crime, family, forensics – but most of it was more about covenants and trusts and equity and easements. I can’t even remember what all those words mean now.
When I finished my degree, I decided I’d only train as a solicitor if I couldn’t find something else within a year and set about applying for every job I could find. Luckily, I was eventually offered a not-too-bad one – as a scriptwriter for an educational media company.
I enjoyed that job – the people were fun, it was in the middle of town so the pub was close, and I actually quite liked writing for a living. After a few years, I left the company and joined another similar one, and then I went freelance.
I still write some educational stuff but I wanted to use my new, more flexible schedule to see what else I might want to do and decided to have a go at writing a novel. I knew the odds of success were pretty remote, and indeed I had a fair few rejections, but eventually I managed to write one that got me an agent, and then another one that got me a book deal.
I’ve lived in Brighton since moving here for university, although I did live in Paris for a year which was a lot of fun.