I was born in Burnley, Lancs (England) and lived not too far from Pendle Hill – the haunt of witches and all manner of strangeness. This may have had an effect on my imagination.
My father was a painter and teacher and my mother was a teacher too. Both were Welsh and this has probably had an impact on my imagination too. The whole family headed for Wales every holiday so that even now Wales is inextricably linked with long car journeys, holidays, family and general happiness.
I still support Wales rather than England in most things, particularly rugby, much to my husband’s annoyance. I have one sister (a very good painter), one husband, four children, one (mad) dog, a bearded dragon and eight nieces and nephews. I live in South West London.
I believe passionately that education is a good thing and just wish that mine made more impact on my thinking. I went to Edge End High School then Nelson and Colne Sixth Form College, both in Lancashire. After an uneventful ‘gap year’ – trying and failing to get to grips with accountancy, retail (the Co-op bra department) and pharmaceuticals ( the pharmacy at Burnley General Hospital,) I went to New College, Oxford to read Philosophy and Theology and then to King’s College, Cambridge to learn how to be a teacher. I taught – briefly – before going back to college – this time to Manchester Business School to get an MBA. After that I worked for an oil company as a kind of all-purpose executive person, but left before I learnt anything that might have been useful either to the company or to me.
When I was seven I knew exactly what I wanted to be but I forgot all about it until some time after I had my second baby when I suddenly remembered that I had always wanted to be a writer. I was lucky enough to be on a corporate career break at the time and my broken career never got mended. Writing is the best job I’ve ever had.