I grew up in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, and moved back here ten years ago so my daughters could grow up in this beautiful landscape too.
I am studying for a PhD in Creative Writing: Teen Fiction at Leeds Trinity University. I'm very lucky to have YA novelist Martyn Bedford as one of my supervisors. I get to work mainly at home, so I can spend tea breaks with my border terrier and the chickens in the back garden.
Till recently, I ran Lumb Bank, The Ted Hughes Arvon Centre. This fantastic job meant supporting a fresh batch of writers every week, hosting literary evenings, talking books, making meals, and juggling all the unpredictable and varied tasks that come with managing an historic building. Witnessing the transformations that so often happen during an Arvon week was a real joy.
Before that I lived in London and Brighton, and worked in children’s book publishing for many years. The scariest moment as a commissioning editor was appearing on The Richard and Judy Show to promote a writing competition, in front of two million viewers. Other career highlights include working as an Artistic Assessor for Arts Council England; teaching English to Japanese women in Brighton; and waitressing in Paris while speaking fairly terrible French.