I wanted to be a writer since the age of five. My first stories all came to the same thrilling conclusion: ‘And then Jane was tired, so she went to bed.’ They gained critical praise from Mrs Thompson, my Reception class teacher, and my ambition to be a published author began. My plan was to achieve this as a child prodigy.

After devouring the writing of others through a degree in English Literature, I became a book editor. Itchy feet took me to Hong Kong for five exciting years, pursued by my fiancé when I reneged on my promise to be back in a year. Married with a baby and another on the way, the urgent need for grandparents brought me back to my birthplace in Kent. Soon I was back in publishing, helping others to achieve their dreams.

I wrote under cover of darkness. I have always been fascinated by what frightens us, and few realised that this innocent-looking, church-going mother of two was creating a world of unspeakable secrets and terrible consequences.

Eventually, the urge to publish could be stifled no longer. I gave up full-time work and came out as a writer. Articles in counselling and parenting magazines, an essay in US collection The Slippery Path and a book on the history of a school followed, and all the while, working on my novel Unspeakable Things kept me jumping at my own shadow.

So now it’s my turn to be the author – bursting onto the literary scene before Jane gets tired and goes to bed. Unspeakable Things is a dark family mystery about motherhood and madness. I am now working on my second novel, The Year of the Ghost, set during an annual family holiday when the haunting of twelve-year-old Hal uncovers secrets which change everything for him and his mother, Carrie.