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 a name for being “lippy”.
When I was diagnosed with depression aged nine, although it was initially a shock, it made a lot of sense to me. Having a label for why I was different was also helpful. (Although a few of my teachers dismissed mental health issues in someone so young, which was anything but helpful!)
it wasn’t until after The Second Cup had been published, and following a breakdown, that I was diagnosed with ADHD – which has since been linked to a post-operative brain injury sustained in 2008.
While I don’t think it’s any surprise my debut novel is about mental health issues, I did feel that I’d cheated one of my characters out of closure: I’d accidentally given her ADHD.
So I decided to publish a new edition of my The Second Cup with character interviews – so my character could be diagnosed too. (This is the edition available on Amazon.)
In The Victoria Lie, I explore what it’s like to receive a diagnosis of ADHD as an adult – particularly navigating the misinformation about the condition.
The Second Cup and The Victoria Lie have both been published by Pict Publishing.