Because of a love of travel, 10 years after my Austrian father met my English Rose mother over cheap Chianti and original cappuccino (ie not Starbucks) in a beautiful city in the Umbrian hills, I was born in Greenwich, London.
I spent a few months myself in Perugia when I left school but not only did I fail to learn Italian (too much coffee drinking and cigarette smoking and not enough study), I didn’t meet my future husband either. My academic career culminated in a degree in Drama & English, and an ambition to act – stemming, probably, from my family thinking it was such a bad idea. (I did like to play the rebel in those days). Bit parts in The Bill etc became too frustrating when I truly hankered after the RSC, and I constantly got cast as prostitutes, bimbos and drug dealers (draw your own conclusions). Eventually I abandoned everything to travel the tropics; did a bit more acting on my return – see Pete Cattaneo’s Screen Two film, Loved Up as the high point in my acting career – but eventually slid smoothly behind the camera instead. (OK, I collapsed there after an audition where I was commanded to be ‘ witty with a Pringle crisp ‘. You try it.)
I was far happier out of the limelight. My TV career spanned MTV through chat-shows to documentary television, giving me the opportunity to travel the world, be it after oil barons in Oklahoma or Viagra merchants in Surrey (yes really), pop stars in New York or dysfunctional families looking for a fresh start in Australia – although please believe it really wasn’t all glamour (I’ve been sworn at, punched in Amsterdam’s red light district, threatened and propositioned more than once – which kept me on my toes, I suppose). I also started writing features for The Independent on Sunday, The Guardian and The Telegraph.
Somehow I became an expert in confessional journalism and after having my first baby, I wrote my first book in a bid to stay at home with him and not keep getting punched in Amsterdam. I was lucky to get snapped up fairly quickly by Harper Collins, and have had 4 novels published by them, and in various countries. A change of direction recently means…well, all will be revealed if you please watch this space 🙂
In 2014 I also started studying psychology, moved up to Derbyshire for a year, moved back down South, missing the smog (not really, I hate the smog) with my children, my very tall partner and lots of animals. I am still undecided on who is the most feral 🙂