I remember sitting in her father's cross-legged lap while he tried to show me his guitar's chords. He's a musician. My small fingers stumbled and gave up. I was three. His music sheets fascinated me - such strange language that translated into music. My mother teaches languages, French and English, so her fluency with words fired my interest. I knew from being small that I wanted to write, to create, to make magic.
I love all forms of writing. My short stories have won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting twice for the Bridport Prize and being published in a variety of UK magazines. My first play, Afloat, was performed at Hull Truck Theatre in 2012. I also wrote a ten-year newspaper column for the Hull Daily Mail about being a parent, garnering love/hate criticism. My debut novel, How to be Brave, was a Guardian Readers' pick for 2015.
I'm inspired by life, history, survival and love, and always have a story in my head. My novel, How to be Brave, came from truth - when my daughter got Type 1 Diabetes I helped her cope by sharing my grandad's real life sea survival story. My second novel, The Mountain in my Shoe, will be released in September 2016 and was inspired by my time working with children in the care system.