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My article on the Top Five Regrets of the Dying went viral, was in the top five most read articles across the whole of in 2013, and drew more than 3.9m readers for the Guardian. It was liked on Facebook 126,000 times and Tweeted at least 13,000 times.


I'll be at the Ryedale Book Festival, in Malton, north Yorks, on October 11. Details here

Signing books at a recent event.

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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.