I grew up in north London and studied English at York University, which is when I first fell in love with Yorkshire. After university, I returned to London. I worked as a researcher to the Labour chief whip in the House of Commons for a time, before joining an in-house journalism training scheme on a local London paper.
I did my apprenticeship on the Hendon & Finchley Times before moving on to national papers as a news reporter - first the Evening Standard, then the Daily Telegraph, then The Times, where I moved from news to features. In 2001 I joined The Guardian as a commissioning editor on Weekend magazine. I stayed at the paper for 11 years, writing and editing across print and web. Throughout that time I was working on my novel, Homecoming, and having my two children. While on the Guardian, I wrote and uploaded a piece entitled Top Five Regrets of the Dying, which went viral. I was also responsible for sparking the Keep Calm and Carry On craze, though perhaps the less said about that, the better.
I am now working on my second book.