I was born in October 1962 and grew up in Washington, DC, moving to England after graduating with a BA in English from Oberlin College (Ohio). For several years I worked as a reference book editor, while writing short stories in my spare time. In 1993 I quit to do an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia (Norwich, England). Afterwards I juggled freelance editing with writing until eventually I was able to write full-time.

I live in London with my English husband and son. I’ve written 8 novels and edited 2 short story collections. My second novel, Girl with a Pearl Earring, sold 5 million copies worldwide and was made into a film starring Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson. Apart from writing, I’ve curated three shows in art galleries/museums.

Facts That Don’t Fit a Standard Biography

I’ve lived in the United Kingdom for over 30 years, but I still have an American accent.
I have not worked in an office since 1993.
I write novels longhand, typing what I’ve written into the computer at the end of each day.
I prefer blue ink, and use disposable fountain pens. (Fancy ones don’t work for me.)
I have a desk in my study but usually I write on the living room sofa.
I’m left-handed.
Every year I go to an all-night Oscars party in London.
My favorite everyday fruit are apples; favorite occasional fruit are raspberries.
I make quilts, slowly.
If I were to do college/university all over again, I would study art history.
I avoid wearing earrings and a necklace together. Less is more with jewelry.
I read books mostly by women. It’s not deliberate.