I am a London-based author, living in Islington with my husband, George. I read English at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University, and My Name Is Anna is my first novel.
Having previously dabbled in acting and film development, I have spent the last eight years working in the restaurant business with my brother, Jamie, heading up our brand and marketing department. We have a small group of restaurants, mainly in London, including Hush in Mayfair, the all-day burger brand, Hache, and the Latin American barbecue group, Cabana.
Working with the restaurants has been creative and dynamic…and has involved a certain about of writing (including a lot of press releases!), but writing has always been a creative itch I have scratched on the side.
I have always written in fits and starts, but about five years ago I started writing my first serious novel – a very long and drawn out literary fiction piece based on my grandmother’s life in Mandate Palestine, pre-Suez Cairo and post-war London.
I started taking regular classes with Maggie Hamand at the Complete Creative Writing Course, which made me completely rethink my approach to writing, and was invaluable in shaping the way I wrote.
However, in April 2017 I found myself at a complete dead end with my first novel, and, almost as a form of release, starting dabbling with a thriller that had been niggling away at me. I mentioned I was writing it to my mother, and, about a week later, she told me that she had spied a first novel competition that I *had* to enter.
I hammered away at my laptop, completing just enough of the book to be able to enter, and literally handed my entry in on the closing day of the competition (I couriered my entry, so worried was I it wouldn’t make the deadline!).
And then I forgot all about it…
About two months later, preparing for my morning operations meeting, I received a phone call out of the blue, which completely changed my life.
The phone call was from Luigi Bonomi of LBA Books telling me I had WON the Daily Mail and Random House First Novel Prize 2017
Thus began an extraordinary chain of events that I am still waiting to wake up from on a daily basis. The little thriller I had dabbled away at is now My Name Is Anna, and was published by Century, an imprint of Penguin Random House, in January 2019. It will be published in North America by MIRA, an imprint of Harper Collins, on 3rd September 2019.
I have had the privilege of working with a marvelous team of people on My Name Is Anna / A Girl Named Anna, and am now hard (hard!) work on my second book. Stay tuned…