Born into a family of eccentrics and raised in a haunted house, I developed an early interest in making things up. After completing my BA at Oxford, I lived in Boston, Massachusetts. There, my jobs ranged from babysitter and box-assembler to researcher and lecturer at Harvard, where I also completed my PhD. Since returning to the UK, I’ve taught Creative Writing at Lancaster and Chester Universities and held a writing fellowship at Chester. I’m now a creative writing lecturer, teaching for Comma Press and The University of Hull.

My first novel, The Monster’s Wife, came out with Barbican Press and was shortlisted for the Scottish First Book of the Year Award. A subsequent novel, The American Girl, was published by William Morrow (US) and Harper Collins (UK) and translated into Korean by Tomato Publishing. My poems and short stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, including Best British Crime Stories, and all my longer fiction has been optioned for film and television. I am currently finishing up my fourth novel and working on my first collection of short stories.