I have lived in Lewes for 20 years, having previously lived in all over the country and abroad. I was brought up in Sheffield in Yorkshire, where I was educated at the same local comprehensive school as the British astronaut, Helen Sharman. After leaving school, my education took me to a wide variety of places including Dublin, (where I studied at Trinity College, Dublin), Paris (studying theatre at the University of Paris and the British Institute) and London (to SOAS where I studied Japanese). My publishing career has taken me from Cambridge, Norwich and London to Oxted, Chichester, Germany, the US and beyond. Like many before me, I learnt the publishing trade on the job, but I decided that professional qualification was useful and studied and qualified as a CIM marketer and learn the ropes of the business, marketing and promotion. I have worked in the government policy and publications, the media, publishing and the research information industry for most of my 25 year career.
Education background: My background is both in science and the arts and have A levels in all the main sciences plus on in languages. I hold two primary degrees: a science degree in Genetics and an arts degree in European languages and Drama. I subsequently studied for a professional postgrad in business and hold the Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. This broad education in sciences, languages and literature and business has been invaluable in my career.
Professional background: My professional background in in publishing and in the media. I have worked in all aspects of the industry starting in editorial and becoming a magazine editor, a journalist and a theatre reviewer, to work in publicity as a publicist and senior group PR director and in marketing as a marketing director and product and business development specialist. I’ve been part of some very well-known media organisations including Chrysalis, the music and media company that signed Blondie and Jethro Tull, ran Heart and LBC radio as well as a books division; John Wiley, one of the leading academic publishers where I ran teams across the world from New York to Germany; and for respected public sector organisations such as the University of Cambridge and in research in a policy evaluation branch in Civil Service. As publicist, I worked with and represented a large number of our leading politicians, celebrities, authors, journalists, actors and comedians. My publishing experience spans trade (fiction and non-fiction titles included illustrated titles) to academic publishing. Today, I work primarily across digital products (online books and journals, data, analytics and artificial intelligence tools) and increasingly in the application of artificial intelligence to published high-level research information. These days, I run as an independent media, communications and publishing consultancy and work as a Senior Associate and BP of Marketing and Market Research for Maverick Publishing Specialists.
I share my expertise with those starting out in the profession and have lectured on publishing to students on the Publishing MA at Oxford Brookes University and to postgraduates at De Montfort University and taken part in panels and plenaries for the Publishers’ Association and at London International Book Fair. I am used to addressing large audiences, lecturing and public speaking.
Voluntary work: I have taken an active role as a volunteer and a Trust. Locally, I have volunteered form the Prince’s Trust, for Working Knowledge (an employment charity), for Toastmasters, the US public speaking organisation, through Lewes Speakers Club and as the Toastmasters Area Director for East Sussex during 2018/2019. I am a Trustee of Baxter’s Field in Lewes and been a judge for the Youth Speaks public speaking competition run by the local Rotary Club at Priory School.
Hobbies – my hobbies and interests are wide ranging. I am musical and both sing and play the flute to a reasonably high standard. I speak 5 languages with varying degrees of expertise and training from the more accessible such as Spanish, French and German to Japanese. As you would expect from a career publisher, I am widely travelled and love books, literature, debate, culture and ideas in all their forms. The arts and travel are very important to me and I frequently visit art exhibitions (I’m a Friend of the RA and other arts organisations), attend literary festivals (such as Charleston), the theatre and other spoken world events (like Lewes Speakers Festival where I have also volunteered).
My two other main interests are gardening, wildlife, biodiversity and conservation and outdoor activities such as sailing, hill walking, cycling and outdoor/wild swimming (one of the reasons I love the Pells and being near the coast). In winter if I can, I skate and go cross country skiing.