•           Support your local bookshop          

About me

IMG_2919Born in 1958 and brought up in Hammersmith, a few paces from the District Line in West London, I graduated from Brighton University in 1981 and moved to Sydney, Australia the year after. In between writing my first attempt at a novel, I sold newspapers in a shop at Wynyard underground station in the heart of the city. If you want to know a city, get familiar with it’s subterranean transit system. Until then I had never seen a double-decker train.

I returned to London and did several jobs to support writing. This included working for one of the first Internet companies in the UK. For a while I was the only person I knew with an email address.

My first novel, Seven Miles From Sydney, came out in 1987 and made the City Limits top ten best books for that year.  In 1990 I worked with actor Sue Johnston on her semi-autobiographical book, Hold Onto The Messy Times. In 2005 an extract of A Kind Of Vanishing, a work in progress, was included in The Brighton Book along with pieces by Jeanette Winterson, Melissa Benn, Nigella Lawson and Louis de Bernières.

lesley-readingWhile completing an MA in English Literature at Sussex University I wrote A Kind of Vanishing. This went on to win the People’s Book prize for fiction in 2010.

I am a guest tutor on the Creative writing and Publishing MA at West Dean. With Elly Griffiths, I run a crime-writing short course there.  I also lead workshops and take master classes on writing crime novels.

I’m writing The Detective’s Daughter series, featuring Stella Darnell (MD of Clean Slate Cleaning Services) and Jack Darnell, a driver on London Underground’s District Line. I don’t have a cleaner, but if I did , I’d have to hire Stella, no one else could measure up. Meanwhile my cleaning is fictional…

I live in East Sussex with my partner and a raggedy poodle both of whom are treated to blow by blow accounts of scenes and twists in plot at any given time. I don’t know how they sleep at night.

My chosen charities are:

Link to Parkinson's Disease Society

Link to St Peter and St James Hospice