I’m a science fiction writer, particularly of tie-in novels based on Doctor Who and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I used to be a sociologist, but I’m all right now.
I wrote fiction as a child but exam preparation and essay writing meant I had pretty much given up by my teens. My magnum opus in this period (written when I was an 11-year-old schoolgirl) was an epic scribbled into a school exercise book, about an apocalyptic battle between Good and Evil, in which Good (yes, Good) is ably assisted by an 11-year-old schoolgirl. Looking back, I detect the unmistakeable influence of Susan Cooper‘s Dark is Rising sequence, and the Guardian Trilogy of stories during Davison-era Doctor Who.
In my mid-twenties I began producing fanfiction based on budget 1970s BBC space opera Blake’s 7. In the late 90s, a friend handed me his Star Trek: Deep Space Nine videos, ignoring my shrieks that “I didn’t like Star Trek” and insisting, “You’ll like this.” How right he was. I devoured the show in a matter of weeks, started churning out fanfiction at a great pace, publishing on the new-fangled InterWebs that were so popular at the time. This turned out to be a good move: someone recommended my writing to the editor of the Star Trek range at Pocket Books, and he emailed to ask if I’d like to pitch some stories. One benefit of email is that you have time to compose a measured reply, rather than yelp, “Oh god yes!” down the phone at someone you’re eager to impress.
Since then, I’ve written three Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novels, two Doctor Who novels, and numerous short stories. My short story, “Sea Change”, was selected to appear in Gardner Dozois’ Year’s Best Science Fiction anthology in 2008. (Several other of my short stories have received honourable mentions in those anthologies.) My current projects include a space opera about girls with guns, and a pseudo-historical political thriller set in a counterfactual post-Roman Britain.
I spend most of my free time reading and watching TV. I love the writing of Ursula Le Guin, JRR Tolkien, TS Eliot, Rosemary Sutcliff, Emma Goldman, Lois McMaster Bujold, Sylvia Engdahl, Lucy M. Boston, and Tove Jansson. Current favourite TV shows include new Doctor Who (which I’m convinced has been written just for me), and Grange Hill (the early years). I travel through life in a rackety space-time house in Cambridge, England, with my companion of many years, Matthew. We have no cats and several Daleks.