I was born in Los Angeles in 1966 to a British mother and an American father. They met on an airplane in 1963 when she was a Pan Am stewardess and he was coming back from participating in the first American expedition to Mount Everest.

Me, Toby, Mum and Harcourt in St. Croix

Me, Toby, Mum and Harcourt in St. Croix

I don’t remember L.A. By the time I was eight I had also lived in St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands, and in London. I lived in coastal Massachusetts until college at Indiana University, where I earned a B.A. in Mandarin and French, having spent my junior year (1985-86) in Beijing. After getting an M.A. in Chinese Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), I worked for the U.S. Commerce Department for a year, wondering about joining the Foreign Service. I got married and moved to Japan in 1991 instead.

It was there that I started really concentrating on writing. While earning money at various jobs (editor, voice-over talent), I submitted freelance articles on business, culture and history to magazines and newspapers; I scribbled poetry; I wrote three novels. Lots of my articles were published, as was one poem. Please forget I told you about the novels.

After eight years and two babies in Japan, I moved to Singapore. During my seventeen years there I got divorced, developed a successful coaching and training business, adopted a schnauzer, met the love of my life and remarried, and began writing for a living.

In June 2016 I moved to England. I plan to stay.


I've been writing essays on communication since 2006. I used to send them only to my coaching clients and friends, but in 2010 I turned them into a blog and self-published the first 51. I called them Restroom Reflections, and the collection is available here.

Restroom Reflections