MY BIOGRAPHY :
I was born in Teesside, NE England. I
enjoyed a traditional 1970’s childhood, watching too
much TV and eating convenience food because nobody
minded if kids did that in those days. Since graduating
from Leicester University, where I studied English
Language and Literature, I’ve worked in advertising and
as a management consultant. In 2010 I was proud to be
awarded an honorary doctorate of Letters from Teesside
I’ve always dreamed of being a writer and my first novel - Playing Away – was published in 2000; that year the Evening Standard identified me as one of London’s ‘Twenty Faces to Watch’, which was very nice of them!
I like to keep busy and to be described as one of the most-loved and biggest-selling women’s fiction writers in the UK, (who wouldn’t like that?!) Over two million copies of my work have been sold in the UK and I’m translated into 25 different languages. I’ve published eleven novels in eleven years, all of which have been Times Top Ten bestsellers. Whatever it Takes, my twelf novel, examines issues that are important to us all. It scrutinizes our concepts of friendship, our theories on love, motherhood and infidelity with (I hope) honesty and humour. I’m known for examining the thorny issues of the lives we lead today with my trademark, up-front, tell-it-as-it-is style.
I write numerous articles and short stories for national magazines and newspapers and often appear on radio and TV talking about my work and related matters. Once I get going, it’s quite hard to shut me up.
I passionately believe that reading is a basic right. I'm a proud Ambassador of The Reading Agency's Six Book Challenge, a scheme that encourages emerging readers who are becoming passionate about books. Find out more about Six Book Challenge. In 2008 I wrote a Quick Read, Happy Families as part of the celebrations of World Book Day, which went on to win Quick Read Learners’ Favourite Award, as voted for by the public. I'm also thrilled to support WellChild, a wonderful charity that helps seriously ill children, young people and their families throughout the UK, through programmes of care, support and research.
In 2010 I was one of the judges for the Costa Book Awards a great honour and an amazing experience.