A little bit about me
My grandmother was a Hungarian immigrant to America who raised five children on a chicken farm in Indiana. An English Literature graduate from Edinburgh University, I’m a marketing director for an investment firm and live in London with my messy husband, toddler son and baby daughter.
In Strangers’ Houses is my debut novel and the first in the Lena Szarka Mystery Series. The second book in the series, A Clean Canvas, was published in January 2019. The third, A Messy Affair, is scheduled for January 2020. All will be published by Constable.
Here’s a few things my readers might like to know about me, as featured in Female First.
The inspiration for my Hungarian immigrant detective comes from my grandmother, who emigrated from Hungary to America just before the First World War. She’d been told the streets were paved with gold, but she ended up living in a house with a dirt floor and raised her five children on a chicken farm in Indiana.
The heroine of my novels is a cleaner who turns detective – cleaners have such intimate access to people’s secrets. I got the idea when I moved in with a boyfriend who I discovered to be the messiest person I have ever met: there were half-eaten mouldy pieces of toast under the bed, cold cups of tea used as ashtrays, and instead of doing laundry he just bought new underwear, letting the old pants pile high on the bathroom floor. We decided to get a cleaner for the good of the relationship – and it worked. Fourteen years later we’re happily married.
I started writing my first crime novel in Turkey on a yoga retreat. I was staying in a yurt in the mountains and could hear the goats trot by every morning. The holiday came with fantastic creative writing classes run by Stephen King’s UK editor Philippa Pride, who is now my mentor and close friend.
I always write lying down. Sitting at a desk feels too much like being in the office so it’s hard to be creative.
My first baby and second book were due in the same month. I managed to deliver both a few days early. Both processes were painful at times but absolutely worth it.
I wrote my third book while looking after my gorgeous baby son Teddy. The book will need plenty of editing – writing sleep deprived with a baby cuddled on your lap makes for some strange plot twists.
Visit Female First to find out more.