I was born during a storm somewhere outside Birmingham, England, in November 1967. I attended a wickedly old-fashioned girls’ school in Edgbaston between 1979 and 1986.

After I escaped school, educated but unworldly, I studied at Royal Holloway College, London University and learned the history of witchcraft, madness and women, gaining a BA and an MA.

In 1992, more educated but still unworldly, I moved to Scotland where I lived for 12 years in the woods. I began my writing career there and produced my dear child, Josh. In 2004 I moved back to England and settled in the decaying Victorian city of Sheffield.

I will stay here until my son has finished his education. Then I shall move deep into the countryside and shelter among the stormy hills writing and collecting cats.