I have always been fascinated with dark fiction. At an early age, living on the outskirts of Hull, East Yorkshire, I filled my bookshelves with Stephen King and James Herbert, swallowing up a myriad of horror and gore while other girls played with dolls and dress-up. My imagination quickly found its way onto paper, exploring an underworld of sorcery and darkness in hundreds of notebooks stashed under my bed.
When I moved to West Wales my obsession with otherworldly ideas became inspired by the mysterious, magical country I would eventually make my adult home and I quickly expanded my library to include shelves of Celtic mythology as well as the occult. Handwritten notebooks evolved into computer files and, before my teenage years were up, I had written several full novels with many ideas for more.
But it wasn’t until I left school that I began to think of my work as something I’d like to share with more than a select few. Now with an audience in mind, I evolved my writing style, drawing inspiration not only from authors like Neil Gaiman and Scott Lynch, but musicians and artists too [Inspiration]. Wanting to make my writing affect my readers as much as my favourite books affected me, my focus moved away from fantastical worlds of mayhem and destruction and settled on a modern world that scared me more than any three-headed fire breathing demon could.
As a reluctant grown-up, the world around me tainted the fantasy world I had spent my childhood in, and my settings became grounded in themes that were relatable but troubling. Social injustice, political corruption, poverty became driving issues that shaped my plots and characters.
After the birth of my first child, I wrote and self-published my first public work, Dark Waters. This gave me the confidence to work on a series I’d always wanted to write, incorporating all the dark fascination of my youth with my adult fears. The Reacher series, a twisted, unsettling prediction of Britain’s future, was born.
In 2016, I celebrated signing the first book of the series, The Running Game, with Next Chapter and have since released Border Lines and Every Storm Breaks, as well as putting out three short stories accompanying the series. Drawing from the constant political, economic and environmental instability, the series explores humanity in all its ugliness with an explosive, dynamic plot. And as the world continues to turn uneasily, I expect more excitement to come.
I continue to write the Reacher series and hope to release the fourth book in the series this year. I also spend my remaining time editing for other authors and publishing companies, and have worked on a number of books in her career, including other Next Chapter authors.