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I was born in North London and grew up in a small Oxfordshire town that has subsequently become famous for its retail outlet, traffic jams and soon-to-be built eco town. Aged 18 I escaped back to London, to university, and between lectures wandered around Camden Town where the market as we now know it, was slowly emerging. The heroine of my first, never-published novel, ran a stall there. In those days Vivienne Westwood still had her boutique on the Camden Road. I would stare fascinated through the window but never plucked up the courage to go in.
In my twenties I found myself in a beautiful windswept village on the Suffolk coast. Here my three children were born and pushed around the village in a huge old pram that could fit them all in at once. Many of the scenes in Tom’s Daughters take place in this village which is known in the book as Cobbleford.
A job move took the family to Amsterdam, city of canals and gables, and home to the Van Gogh museum. My second novel, Chasing Sunflowers (July 2015) – is set there.
On returning to the UK, I studied for the Creative Writing MA under Andrew Motion and Max Sebald, then remarried and made a romantic dash to the south of France with my husband and two car loads of dogs, cats and children. I am here still, in the Midi, southern France, writing, teaching and welcoming guests to the huge, stone Chateau that Chris and I are slowly renovating.