After a childhood of constant moves around the world - my family lived at various times in Kuwait, China, Belgium, Luxembourg and Singapore - I read English at Trinity College, Cambridge. I trained as a journalist on a weekly South London newspaper, then worked on several national newspapers and magazines. My first novel Hot Gossip (1994) was a satire based on my experiences working on Nigel Dempster's diary column, and was followed by a sequel, Idol Chatter (1995). The Moonbathers, a black comedy, followed in 1998. The Art of Falling was a complete change of direction, which took five years to research and write. But trying to get it published was like starting from scratch again. In the end, after many false dawns and disappointments, I published it myself under the Stamp Publishing imprint in September 2003. Almost immediately it became clear that the novel had struck a chord with booksellers and reading groups around my home in Kent. Ottakar's liked it enough to recommend it to their stores nationwide, and the rights were sold to Random House. The Art of Falling was republished by Arrow in July 2005 and chosen as one of the books for the WHSmith Fresh Talent promotion that summer. It went on to sell more than all the others put together! Songs of Blue and Gold is in a similar style: a story that grew out of my curiousity about past events and a love for the warmer shores and colours of southern Europe. My latest novel, The Lantern, has been chosen for The TV Book Club Summer Reads 2011 on Channel4 and More4. I have also written a linked short story for Woman&Home magazine's 2011 summer reading supplement. I currently divide my time between rural Kent and a crumbling hamlet in Provence, which is the atmospheric setting for The Lantern.