I was born on an army base called Fort Belvoir, near Alexandria, Virginia, in the United States. My father was a drill sergeant in the US Army, but much nicer than that makes him seem. I only stayed at Fort Belvoir for the first four months of my life and have never even been back to the East Coast of America (don't get me started).
I lived in Hawaii until I was almost six, spent the ten years after that in suburban Washington state, and then on to Los Angeles, where I studied English Literature at the University of Southern California.
My main job after graduating was as corporate writer at a cable company, writing manuals, form letters and speeches and once even an advertisement for the Gilroy, California Garlic Festival (this is true). If you're American and hated your cable company, I probably wrote you a letter of apology.
I got my first story published in Genre magazine in 1997 and was working on my first novel when I moved to London in 1999. I've lived here ever since. Luckily, my Hawaiian childhood prepared me for English summers.
Sometimes I teach creative writing including at Oxford University (yes, they have a Creative Writing programme), sometimes I write reviews (where I'm generally nice unless I think someone's been lazy), but mostly I get out my 1,000 words a day, come hell or high water.
I've published two Books for adults, a novel called The Crash of Hennington and a short story collection called Topics About Which I Know Nothing, a title which seemed funny at the time but less so 10,000 mentions later...
In May 2008, I published The Knife of Never Letting Go, my first book for young adults. It won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Booktrust Teenage Prize. The sequel, The Ask and the Answer, is out in 2009, and the third book in the trilogy will be out in 2010.