Emma Bamford is an author and journalist who has worked at The Independent, the i paper and the Daily Express and is Deputy Editor of Sailing Today magazine.
She had a fairly normal life to begin with, growing up with her younger brother and sister under the watchful eyes of her parents in Lincoln and Nottingham. After studying English Literature at Southampton University and Newspaper Journalism at UCLan, she started work as a cub reporter for the Bicester Review and then the Derby Evening Telegraph, cutting her journalistic teeth interviewing organisers of local fetes and grilling parish council members. Fleet Street beckoned and highlights of her career as a reporter and news editor include asking F1 driver Jenson Button what his favourite toasted sandwich filling was, quizzing the incumbent Home Secretary on his preferred kind of cheese (spot a pattern?) and peeing in Bruce Forsyth's downstairs loo. There was some serious and hard-hitting journalism in there for a fair few years, too.
Then, in her early 30s and bored with this 'fairly normal life' she'd created for herself, Emma took a career break and, despite protestations from friends and family, answered an advert on the internet for 'crew wanted' and flew to Borneo to live on a boat with a man she had never met and his cat. She found herself hunting for elephants in the jungle, visiting deserted islands and running from pirates. Finally she ended up among billionaires, working as a stewardess on a superyacht in Italy.
Her adventures form the basis of her first book, Casting Off, and the sequel Untie the Lines (publishing July 2016), which explores the idea of what we need to do to break free and find a balanced life.