Born into a family of eccentrics, I was raised in a haunted house on the outskirts of London. The daughter of a mad scientist and a crime fiction expert, I developed an early obsession with laboratories and monsters. At the age of 4, I wrote and illustrated my first collection of gothic tales, Fenella the Witch Fights the Hairy Sea Lion Giant, but struggled to find a publisher.
After some years at Harvard, where I won scholarship funding to unravel the mysteries of Medieval manuscripts, my childhood dreams of being a writer began to haunt me and I abandoned truth for fiction, returning to the UK to take an MA in creative writing at Lancaster. I now teach at the University of Chester, where I’m a Writing Fellow. I live in Manchester with my artist partner, John Brewer, a ghost called Ron and a growing museum of curiosities.
My first novel The Monster’s Wife, is out with Barbican Press in September 2014. I’m currently working on a second novel, The American Girl. My poems and short fiction have been published in a number of magazines and anthologies including Storyglossia, Erbacce, Seventh Quarry Magazine, Bliss and Best British Crime Stories and my work has won awards - Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition, Words on the Streetand Adoption Matters - and been shortlisted for Asham, Templar, Longworth Editors, Fine Line and Ravenglass Press awards. I am represented by Allan Guthrie at Jenny Brown Associates.