Born in Yorkshire, I graduated from Liverpool University with an honours degree in English Literature and Film Studies. In 1993, at the age of twenty-three, I moved to London to be the editor of a puzzle magazine. Yes, puzzles! For someone who can never get that last crossword clue, it was pretty daunting, but it was my first break into the world of magazines and publishing, and I loved it. (And it turned out my job was making up the clues, not solving them – phew!)
In my spare time I was always writing articles and trying to get them published, until finally my persistence paid off. For the next five years I saw my features published in many of the big name British glossies – ELLE, Company, She, Red, More!, Here and Cosmopolitan, before travelling to Sydney, Australia, where I spent six months working for Australian Vogue and Cleo magazine.
However, for many years a dream of mine had been to write a novel and, in 1999, I finally took the plunge.
Every lunchtime and spare weekend was spent working on my novel, What’s New, Pussycat? until finally
I’d written three chapters, which I sent to several agents. I was so nervous waiting for their responses that I tried to forget all about it by going on holiday to Los Angeles to visit my sister. This was in the days before email, and so I couldn’t believe it when I
returned home, checked my answering machine and discovered messages from several interested agents. The word 'excitement' doesn't even come close.
So I took a gamble. I resigned from my job, sold my car, and gave myself a deadline of six months (which was when the proceeds from my car would run out). Within days of handing in the finished manuscript, a bidding war broke out between several interested publishers and I ended up signing a two-book deal. What’s New, Pussycat? was published in April 2000 and immediately made the bestseller lists. Proof that dreams really can come true.
To date I’ve written nine romantic comedy novels and am currently working on my tenth. During these past thirteen years, I’ve sold the film rights to What’s New, Pussycat? You're The One I don't Want and Calling Romeo, seen my books translated and published all over the world, including Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Russia, Greece, Serbia, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Thailand China and Indonesia, appeared at the LA Book Festival, and been interviewed for the BBC, Channel 4’s Big Breakfast, ITVs Calendar, and in the US, ABC’s Nightline.
I was delighted when my fourth novel, Do You Come Here Often, was made book of the month, by Woman’s Day in Australia, and in May 2008 I was thrilled to win the Best New Fiction award for Me and Mr Darcy, at the Jane Austen Regency World Awards.
Aside from novels, I’ve also contribued a short story - No Strings Attached - which was published in an anthology entitled Girl’s Night In in aid of the international charity: WarChild. In 2011 I also wrote Me and Mr Darcy Again, for Jane Austen Made Me Do It, a Jane Austen anthology which was published in both the UK and USA. I also made my foray into radio when my short story It's A Guy Thing was broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
My last book, You're The One That I Don't Want (it was published in the US under the title, You're (Not) The One) came out in 2010 to rave reviews and made the bestseller lists straight away, thanks to my wonderful readers. But the most exciting news of all is my new book, Don't You Forget About Me, is out this month!!
In the meantime, I'm hard at work writing my new book - this is going to be number ten! I still can't quite believe it...
My Writing Day
What's next? Later this year I'm planning to do a book tour in Prague, so check out my Facebook page to hear more news of that and the exact dates.
Later this year I'm planning to do a book tour in Prague, so check out my Facebook page to hear more news of that and the exact dates.