I grew up in England and the US, and then lived in Sydney, Australia for more than 20 years, working as a book, magazine and web editor and writer. I’ve more than two decades of publishing experience and am the former editor of Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine.

I had always written – terrible poetry, short stories and angst-ridden diaries – and have an enduring love of books and stories. I remember being so hungry for words that I would scour the cereal packets over breakfast and prowl my parents’ bookshelves in search of something new to read.

At boarding school, I read my way through the junior library before being given special permission to read from the senior library – and went straight from pony books to Solzhenitsyn and John Wyndham. Discovering Jilly Cooper is one of the abiding happy moments of my teenage years.

Ironically, when I changed jobs, it was almost always in pursuit of more writing, until finally I gathered my courage and began to write fiction – something I thought only people far cleverer than me could do. I am somewhat astonished that I am now the author of five novels.

Rose’s Vintage and Angel’s Share are both contemporary love stories, set in the lush vineyards of the imaginary Shingle Valley.

I have also written three works of historical fiction, The Botanist’s DaughterThe Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant, and The Silk House and I am working on a sixth.

I believe that stories circulate in the ether and if you are receptive, they will tap you on the shoulder and start whispering in your ear. The writer’s job is then to do the story justice.

I love nothing more than a generous slice of warm cake, a cup of tea, a comfortable place to sit and a good book to read!