I am a writer and illustrator based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I graduated from
THE BELFAST SCHOOL OF ART in 1992 with a degree in Illustration. I planned to write
and illustrate books for children. Then a short story for grown-ups that I wrote
in a Belfast cafe one rainy afternoon led to a publishing contract spanning seven
novels, ten years and seventeen countries around the world.
I grew up during the worst years of the Northern Ireland Troubles but I have chosen
not to make conflict the focus of my work. Instead I am inspired by those unsung
men and women living quietly heroic lives behind the privet hedges and half-closed
blinds of suburbia.
I write about lonely people searching for a place of sanctuary, and the buildings
in my novels also become characters in their own right. My books have been described
as sad, charming, beautiful and romantic. My debut novel was published in 2003. THE
TEA HOUSE ON MULBERRY STREET became an international best-seller and was award-nominated.
To date my books have sold half a million copies.
In 2014 I published my first collection of short stories as an e-book called
THE LIGHTS ON THE CAROUSEL WERE BEAUTIFUL.
I am currently writing a psychological thriller and working on a new collection of
paintings. The painting shown on my Art page was short-listed for THE ROYAL ULSTER
ACADEMY EXHIBITION 2015.