I was born in Whitechapel, east London, in 1978 and grew up in nearby Hackney.
I didn’t take writing serious until I was in my twenties, but looking back I can join the dots and see that the signs were there that it was something that was going to become important to me. Now I can’t imagine doing anything else!
I like writing for teenagers. It’s such an intense time of life. You’re discovering what it means to really be alive for the first time. Life comes at you a hundred miles an hour, vivid and painful and new and exciting. Saying that, though, it wasn’t something I set out to do. All writers are different and have different approaches, and for me, I feel comfortable being about twenty years older than my readership. That feels enough time to have figured things out, and have enough to say to keep readers interested, on their toes, and hopefully illuminated.
I think to be a good writer you’ve got to be part artist, part poet, part philosopher, part sociologist, part anthropologist and part mystic. That’s not to try and big up what I do too much and sound self-important (fundamentally I am just writing stories!), but to write a convincing story with engaging characters you need to have a real deep interest in life and people and want to try and make some kind of sense of it all. For me, every story feels like breaking off a piece of the universe and trying to figure out how it works. That’s my fuzzy-headed take on it anyway…