Here’s a biography for the curious among you.
If you’re looking for my business credentials, please refer to my Consultancy page or contact me for my CV.
I’m a second generation, mixed race Scot/Jamaican/Geordie. I’m also the mother of two delightful children, partner of an ace photographer, bossy eldest sister of five, a textiles graduate and a breast cancer survivor. I’m not quite ready to say I’m a writer, so let’s just stick with: ‘I’m writing’. When I’m not writing fiction, I write copy. For what? You choose.
If that's not quite enough for you, here's a bit more personal background plus some links for anyone affected by cancer.
Why I write fiction...
I write out of sheer necessity. I find deep pleasure and solace in writing. My need to create another world is just as strong; to exchange my reality with a convincing fiction. Take my hand and I’ll try to entertain you!
I am interested in themes of identity and (be)longing and how our sense of self shifts throughout our lives. Or maybe I’m just wading through too many characters in my head!
Our quirks and behaviours also fascinate me – how we interact with each other, how we can learn from one another, or not.
Writing allows me to experience the details of life with fresh eyes, or different eyes at least. For me, writing feels like coming home - a home I want to share.
Published work & reviews
Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, I’m still here (though I do occasionally stray from this beautiful city). DoJ College of Art & Design in Dundee was followed by escapades in Rajasthan and Delhi - the serene Udaipur still closets my heart like an old lover. Back in Auld Reekie, I promptly found myself pregnant and without a kitchen for six months. Our daughter arrived loud and incredible just as I’d finished rejoicing over the new fridge, the new oven and a new sink (instead of a bath) to wash the dishes in. Alas, I can no longer eat rice noodles, but I now know that milk keeps fresh for two days on a shady Edinburgh window ledge in spring.
Delayed by about two years worth of nappies, I took my First Class BDes Hons in Printed Textiles (yes there is a BDes) and decided not to get a job. I was going to be the Michelle Mone of Leith, stepping out of private jets, poised regally, shades on, briefcase carried by a loyal assistant, not a squeegee or inch of untreated cotton in sight. Turns out those endless metres of architecture-inspired prints came in quite useful, decorating my sofa. But really, I loved Dundee, I loved textiles and spent happy hours pouring over the right tone of rust to compliment my melancholy slate-greys and khakis.
Come 2004, I had a new and exciting venture in Design Fairs. I surrounded myself with other trendy, sophisticated designers while politely reminding my two year old that “Mummy Milk” was only for bedtime.
In 2006 I opened up VB’s online store. We thought we could take the world by storm. And well, let’s just say it was very hard work and great fun. Plus the smattering of local industry recognition was definitely worth it. The consultancy evolved in tandem, as I developed and became more aware of my business strengths.
Just as the “Buy Handmade” revolution really kicked off, I bowed right on out. So, what happened? Life. I’d clung on to VB through a challenging pregnancy and looking after our premature son (who is fine, charming and slightly nuts). I’d even treaded complacent waters with VB through breast cancer. But I was 29 and a bit too much life had happened by this point. Writing fiction began as an uplifting escape. I soon realised that writing had always been a big part of my life (there’s a pile of love letters under the stairs that will mortify the kids one day) and the grim reaper was tapping my shoulder, whispering: “you better get on with it.”
When I’m not writing or reading, I procrastinate with motherhood; a social life that revolves around my children; the biannual escape to converse with real, live adults; the Great Homework Debate and occasional baking, though I'm a bit worried we might be ingesting too much edible glitter!
There are some writing and creative links here. If you, a family member or friend has been affected by (breast) cancer or hereditary breast cancer, here are some UK organisations that may be able help: