For ten years, I worked as a current affairs and news documentary producer with the BBC. In April 2016 I published my debut novel with Bloomsbury.
I graduated in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, and completed an MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of Central London. I have taught Creative Writing at Brunel University, Imperial College, University of East London, and St Mary’s University, where I founded a successful MA in the practice of producing ‘first’ novels.
I will be Creative Writing Programme Leader at the University of Salford in 2017.
I teach Writing Fiction, where we focus on getting undergraduate students started on a novel. I also teach short story form, poetry, and memoir writing.
I am always interested in helping students develop any kind of narrative prose.
My research is my practice. I am currently working on my second novel – the story of a journalist who goes missing around the time of Vladimir Putin’s rise to power.
My current interests as a novelist lead me to think about and examine how novels tell political stories, and in themselves contribute on political terms toward our increasingly complex and confusing narrative culture.
How we live in what has been called a ‘post-truth’ society is a primary theme of my second novel. The tension between memorialisation, remembering and forgetting in a traumatised society, was a theme of my debut.
I am interested in telling stories with an international scope, articulating the dilemmas of lives caught in the teeth of international affairs. Reviewing my debut novel, The Los Angeles Times called this ‘a mash up of the international thriller and novel of ideas’.
These research themes progress from my work as an international current affairs documentary producer, through my writing practice.
Practice is my research. My novels and stories are united in their attention to recent history and the fault-lines of geo-politics. I have given papers on the relationship between memory, trauma and writing. My latest work has involved extensive research into the media environment in Russia and events around the election and rise of President Vladimir Putin.
Qualifications and Memberships
National Association of Writer’s in Education
They Are Trying to Break Your Heart, a novel: Bloomsbury (UK, US, Canada) (April 2016)
“Table Rock Lake” short story, Routes Ahead, Tindal Street Press, singled for praise in The Independent Newspaper and awarded a Bridport Prize, (2009)
MIR 5, “Free Country” Birkbeck Press, University College London (2009)
“A Death in the Family” short story, Hard Shoulder Tindal Street Press. Singled for praise in The Guardian newspaper. (2009)