I grew up in the countryside and always felt a strong connection with the landscape around me, and all the things that had happened there in the past, as if I were part of it. There was a dark pool down a lane where I was convinced they used to duck witches. I had an overactive imagination. I wrote my first novel when I was twelve – it was dreadful but I loved doing it.
I went to university in Manchester where I read a lot, fell into a trench on a dig and started writing what became Bloodline. When I left I stopped writing for years and worked in publishing, which was brilliant, although I always felt something was missing, and I could never quite let go of Essa as a character. It wasn’t till a friend read Bloodline and gave me the confidence to finish it that I really started writing again. I’m glad I did.