About the Author
I grew up in a house filled with books, both my parents are keen readers. Back then I didn't know young adult existed as a genre, in fact, I'm not sure it really, truly did; so I read Jane Austen, P.G.Wodehouse, Wilkie Collins, Anthony Trollope, to name a few. This meant that I went through a phase in my early teens of wishing I lived in the regency era and daydreaming about balls and dresses and snubbing men with the flick of my fan. And daydreaming leads to writing.
I don't remember when I started writing but I remember the first full length story I wrote as a teenager, about a girl called Emerald who could defend herself without the help of a man, going against all the damsel in distress tropes I got so frustrated with at the time. It was a terrible story but it was the beginning of my love of writing strong female characters.
For years I would start stories, write tragic poetry but it never really went anywhere. I went to university and studied politics, because I thought it would set me up well. It was a mistake, I didn't enjoy my course and barely made it through my second year. I stayed on and managed to get what is known as the drinkers degree, a 2:2. University was fun but it didn't help me figure out what I wanted to do. And still I started stories that were never finished.
After working in PR for 18 months I decided I wanted to work in creative advertising and so applied for an MA at Falmouth University in Cornwall. It was the best decision I could have made. I loved my course and the people I was studying with, suddenly I felt more like myself; I felt like I was in my comfort zone and not trying to force anything. It was there, towards the end of my course, that I had my first full novel idea. A story that had enough in it to become an entire book. So I had to sit down with my parents after I'd graduated and confess that I didn't want to work in advertising afterall, instead I wanted to be an author. I am still surprised by how well they took it.
Growing up in the Middle East didn't always suit my pale complexion. As you can see here, I was struuuuggling.
I know, my mum is ridiculously gorgeous.
Me (right) and my friend Emma. As you can clearly see, I had the bigger belly and Emma was cheating.
The first book was called More Than Human and I was convinced that it would be published instantly. Alas, it was not and honestly, the idea was great but the writing was not. So, I took a part-time job 'for a year' and began writing my first young adult novel, Rebellion. I went to a London Writer's meeting in 2015 and at the end asked the agent giving the talk if publishers were looking for young adult dystopian novels, they were not. So, I decided it was time to take things into my own hands and I began my self-publishing journey. I published Rebellion the following year (2016), completely re-wrote More Than Human so that it's now a comedy (much better) and I finished the first draft of Resistance, the second book in the Rebellion series. So, 2016 was pretty busy!
6 years later and I'm still at my 'temporary' part-time job but it has meant that my boyfriend and I have a lovely little flat in South East London and the health insurance has proven very handy! This year (2017) I'll be releasing Resistance, trying to get an agent for More Than Human, planning and possibly writing a novella to end the Rebellion series and writing another novella about an evil queen. So, not too much then. Oh wait, and I'm going to begin research for an epic fantasy I want to write. Okay, maybe a little busy.
So that's the long version of how I became a writer. The short version is, I just had to. I really didn't have a choice.
If you have any questions about writing or self-publishing please feel free to ask. I am always happy to help.
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