I was born in South Africa, to a South African mom and a British dad. In 1973 they felt they could no longer live under Apartheid, and we settled in England. I feel I have come from one rainbow nation to another, and love the diversity, the humour – and the tea – which characterise Britain.

I did an English degree at Southampton University and an M.A. in English and History at Reading University. I’ve been a teacher (I loved it), a local reporter, a stuffer of envelopes, a bouncer at a teenage disco and a shop assistant.

I live in Buckinghamshire with my husband and two sons. I read like a demon, have a penchant for slapstick humour, and eat as many salted caramels as I can lay my hands on.