I had a strange and wonderful childhood on a farm in Swaziland, Southern Africa, where I spent many hours ranging barefoot over the countryside, ripping my home-sewn dresses on barbed wire fences, trying to rodeo-ride bull calves, tracking guinea fowl, throwing knives at tree trunks, learning to use a slingshot, eating carrots straight out of the ground, gathering new-laid eggs, catching grass snakes, and trying to use glow worms as lanterns.
Luckily, both my parents were compulsive readers, devouring a steady diet of novels alongside their nightly whiskeys. The walls of our house were scaffold-like bookshelves crammed with everything from classics to horror. We read the way we breathed. As if our lives depended on it.
My first paycheck for writing fiction came when I landed a job as a staff writer for Living & Loving, a South African magazine about parenting—a subject about which I knew absolutely zip at the time. Since then I’ve worked as a journalist, copy editor, university lecturer, and creative writing teacher, but my first love has always been fiction-writing. I’ve lived all over the world despite the fact that I loathe moving house.
For the moment I’m happily settled in Connecticut, USA, with my husband, three children, and two elderly dogs. When I’m not writing I still read incessantly, telling my disgruntled family that I’m doing important market research. I also play tennis, drink tea, and daydream. I have a very long to-do list that features cleaning out the attic, going through all my photo albums, and purging my wardrobe of the many things I’ll never wear again. Most days I avoid this list by bolting to the library with my laptop and a head full of stories.
MA English Literature, University of Edinburgh
MFA (Fiction), Penn State University
Creative Writing Teacher at Writopia and Silvermine Arts Center
Nominated for the Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award
Nominated for the Ian St. James Story Award
Nominated for the RITA Best First Book and Best Single Title Contemporary Romance Awards
Member, Women’s Fiction Writers Association
Member, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)