Books have been such a big part of my life for as long as I can remember that I guess it was inevitable that at some point I would write a novel – and hopefully the first of many. I grew up in a tiny village in North East Derbyshire and attended the Bolsover School. My spare time was spent reading, playing hockey and going out with friends. Aged 18, I left my tiny village and moved to London to do a degree in English Literature. Those three years studying in London are still some of the best of my life during which I made some wonderful, lifelong friends - somehow I also managed to find enough time to study and graduate with a BA Honours degree at the end of it.
I believe you have to take your chances in this life when they come your way. So, after a bit of travelling and a couple of false career starts, when I was offered a job as a staff writer with a small, independent publishing company specialising in business-to-business titles, I grabbed it. Within two years I was offered editorship of a new-launch magazine, which ultimately sent me in a different direction and led to me starting my own publishing company, with an industry colleague, specialising in the vending industry but extending more broadly into the out-of-home foodservice market, particularly coffee. I’ve been incredibly fortunate through my career to have travelled extensively; to international exhibitions and conferences, for factory tours, visits to coffee farms and tea plantations.
Austerity and increasing competition for advertising budgets from new media, led to the closure of this business after 22 years of trading. I became a freelance writer and editor and set aside time to finish the novel that I had already started writing. That novel was The Roots of the Tree, which is based on a true story from within my family. I now live in Oxfordshire with my partner and two teenage sons. I am writing my second novel and some children’s stories, as well as editing several magazines in the food business and healthcare sectors.