Above: Early days, trainee reporter on The Westmorland Gazette, 1993
I began as a trainee reporter on my hometown newspaper, the weekly Westmorland Gazette. It was the paper I grew up reading. It is a paper with a great pedigree.
Poet Laureate William Wordsworth was instrumental in its creation, while Confessions of an English Opium Eater author Thomas De Quincey was the second editor.
More recently, the paper was well known as the publisher of Alfred Wainwright’s beautiful hand-drawn guides to the Lakeland fells.
You can read a piece I wrote about the Westmorland Gazette’s 200th anniversary in 2018 at Hold The Front Page.
For many years I covered the courts and crime beat of Cumbria and Lancashire. One of the most infamous stories I covered was the Lady in the Lake murder case in the late 1990s.
I’ve worked on many newspapers across the north of England, done shifts on the nationals in Manchester and I’ve written features for many magazines.
These days I am a lecturer in multimedia journalism at Manchester Metropolitan University, while still working as a freelance writer. My first book, a true crime work of narrative non-fiction will be published in 2021. It’s called The Jigsaw Murders.
I have a particular passion for narrative non-fiction – true stories that read like fiction. I am hoping to start a PhD on this subject.