I was born in Somerset, and in my teenage years worked for a seaside photography studio, later writing history articles for local newspapers, before going to university.
After gaining a BA degree in Psychology from Durham University, I joined the BBC as a Studio Manager at Broadcasting House and the BBC World Service. I was a Senior Broadcast Journalist and a member of a local radio station's management team until 2011 when I became a full-time writer, researcher, and adviser to parish councils.
My MA degree is in English Local History (Nottingham) and I hold the Certificate in Local Government Administration.
I have worked with five parish councils and committees on neighbourhood planning, community emergency strategies, community managed libraries, recreation areas and cemetery management. I also advise on engaging with the news and social media and on community heritage strategies.
I worked with Maya Vision International and TV historian Michael Wood on the BBC series The Story of England (2009) and Great British Story (2011).
In 2014 - 2015, I provided the research, text and images for eighteen heritage panels for Leicester City Council.
My books are mainly about local and British history and are published by Amberley Publishing, Pen & Sword and the History Press. I have twenty-six books in print, and I am a trustee of my local Community Library.