I grew up on a council estate in Ashington, Northumberland. My father was a welder; mother variously a housewife, factory worker, photographer’s assistant, school cleaner, care worker.

After university, I taught at schools and colleges, mainly in Leicester. I published some poetry and co-authored a couple of textbooks.

In 2013 I left teaching to focus on writing fiction. I also have a day job in the School of Education at the University of Leicester, where I work with trainee English teachers.