I was born in South Manchester in 1975, to English Catholic parents as the second eldest of five daughters. (When people hear this they usually say “Your poor father!” – but he insists he never wanted sons.)
To the outside world, I seemed like a relatively normal kid. I would work hard in class but found myself easily bored. I was bullied and often retaliated, getting into scraps in the playground.
When I was diagnosed with depression at aged nine, although it was initially a shock, when the idea set in, it made a lot of sense to me. I think it also meant I could focus on my school work because I had a reason for how things were inside my head.
It’s this focus – achieving decent GCSEs, A Levels and two degrees – that meant my ADHD was missed. In fact, I wasn’t until after The Second Cup had been published, and following a breakdown, that I was diagnosed.
While I don’t think it’s any surprise my debut novel is about mental health issues, I do feel I’ve cheated one of my characters out of closure. Looking back, I realise I’ve accidentally given her ADHD.
So the new edition of my novel includes interviews with the characters – which gives her the chance to be diagnosed too.
Find out about the dissociated voice.