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You start with a simple lie. You didn't mean to - perhaps you were even trying to protect someone else. You make matters worse by trying to cover it up with another lie – the domino effect. People are asking questions and probing for the truth. Before you know it, you're trapped and desperate. Before you know it, you're being arrested for murder…

It sounds like a storyline for a crime novel - but it's actually one of the scenarios a client of mine was faced with during my 15 years as a Psychotherapist. I once worked with an elderly man who kept a mannequin dressed in his dead daughter’s clothes in the corner of his sitting room. I've had a client who was convinced he was a reincarnation of 'The Messiah'. Other situations are too sensitive and poignant to reveal to you, but there's no doubt that a great deal of these 'real-life' situations, from behind closed doors, make gripping material for a crime fiction writer.  The two fields are more closely linked than you might imagine.

I'm interested in people's hidden vices, the choices they make; their motives, justifications and moral dilemmas. I’m fascinated by the dissonance between the face we present to the world and the real self that’s hidden beneath the surface. People are often not who you think they are. I’m intrigued by unusual psychological disorders, as well as by ordinary individuals who are simply trying their best and make one drastic mistake. You'll find many of these themes in my novels.

I came to writing Psychological Thrillers via a career that's involved being a petrol-pump attendant, a professional cellist, a teacher, an arts administrator, student grants' officer and a senior accredited Psychotherapist. I've written self-help books, run courses in 'Self-Esteem' and written extensively for Slimming World magazine. In 2008, I started writing fiction and haven't been able to stop.

I have book deals in UK, France, Germany, Norway, Hungary and Canada. I love secrets, locked doors and anything hidden under floorboards.