A bit about me. After graduating in philosophy from the University of Edinburgh, I was a journo on the Mail on Sunday, mainly writing about luxury lifestyle matters, celebrity interviews and a gossip column with Celia Walden in the early days (that was fun). Then I went on to be deputy editor of Country Life magazine before leaving to be a freelancer for the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times Style and The Lady, amongst quite a few others.
Wanting to do something different, I started writing books – I’ve recently finished my fifth (The Chronicles of Downton Abbey, out now). My fourth book was Build A Business From Your Kitchen Table, ghostwritten for Sophie Cornish and Holly Tucker, founders of notonthehighstreet.com; it came out in July 2012 and reached no. 1 of The Sunday Times Business bestseller list. My third book was The World of Downton Abbey, which became a no.1 Sunday Times bestseller, and was also no.1 on the New York Times bestseller list (in its category), as well as being no.1 in Canada. My second book was Is There A Psycho In Your Life?, written with the (very dry, very glam) forensic psychologist Kerry Daynes. It didn’t sell quite as many copies but we’re proud nonetheless. And I now know how to spot a psycho (so careful what you post here). My first book was Mud & the City: Dos and Don’ts for Townies in the Country, which continues to sell a trickle of copies at literary festivals when I’m promoting the Downton book. Please buy it cos I get nice royalties on that one (and still need to earn back my advance).
Having lived for years in London’s Notting Hill, I’ve recently moved to the (not very) wilds of Oxfordshire, with my lovely husband Simon, my lovely son George (‘I’m TWO!’) and my lovely stepchildren Beatrix and Louis, when they come to stay. Everyone is lovely, yes. Currently I am working on the follow-up book for notonthehighstreet.com (to be published by Simon & Schuster in 2014) as well as doing numerous Downton Abbey-themed talks around Britain and USA.