I was born and brought up in Hammersmith, a few paces from the District Line in West London, I graduated from Brighton University in 1981 then moved to Sydney, Australia. 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 when it made the City Limits top ten best books. In 1990 I worked with actor Sue Johnston on her semi-autobiographical book, Hold Onto The Messy Times.
While reading for an MA in English Literature at Sussex University I wrote A Kind of Vanishing. Itwon the People’s Book prize for fiction in 2010.
I’m a guest tutor on the Creative Writing and Publishing MA at West Dean where with top crime writer Elly Griffiths, I also run a crime-writing short course . I lead workshops and take master classes on writing crime novels.
I’m writing best-selling The Detective’s Daughter series, featuring Stella Darnell (MD of Clean Slate Cleaning Services) and Jack Harmon, driver on London Underground’s District Line. Oh, and not forgetting Stanley the poodle.
Right now, I’m working on a standalone Death of a Mermaid. It’s based in Newhaven, East Sussex. Freddy Power, a mobile fishmonger and her best friend Toni Kemp who’s a detective with the Sussex Police search for missing friend Pauli another girl who, twenty five years ago, was the third of their group, at the convent school, The Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Dividing my time between East Sussex and Gloucestershire, I live with my partner and a raggedy poodle (Alfred gave me the idea for The Dog Walker) both are treated to accounts of scary scenes as they unfold. How do they sleep at night?.
My novels include a character in a hospice and one with the debilitating disease Parkinson’s. This has led me to support these charities.