Originally from Bolton, Lancashire, I now live in London and report on a wide range of literary and cultural topics in the UK media. I was literary editor of the Independent on Sunday for 11 years, and I’ve judged many literary prizes, including the Impac, the Whitbread Novel Award, The Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, The John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the National Poetry Competition. I’m on the advisory committee for the new Literary Prize in the UK. A member of the Authors Club, I’m the chair of its annual Best First Novel Award.
I have also interviewed many authors on stage: Martin Amis, Julian Barnes, Graham Swift, Ali Smith, Hilary Mantel, Lady Antonia Fraser, Justin Cartwright, Bret Easton Ellis, Alan Hollinghurst and Sarah Waters among others.
In 2012 I am teaching a course in Feature Writing at Brunel University.