I'm a novelist, broadcaster, journalist, motivational speaker, freelance education consultant; in other words a total busybody!
I grew up on a council estate in the heart of London's East End. My parents migrated to Britain from Grenada in the 1960s. My dad was a factory worker and my mum a cleaner at Mile End hospital. Although both my parents left school before they were sixteen they were passionate about education and made sure that I visited my local library - Whitechapel Library - which is where my love affair with books and education started. Chuck into the mix coming from a family that never shut up and adored telling stories I was a hardcore bookaholic from an early age.
I went from east london to west to study for a degree in African History at SOAS, University of London and then literarily walked across the road to The Institute of Education to do a PGCE. And so began my life as, at first, a secondary teacher and then a teacher in primary schools. I became a deupty head teacher and then went on to work as a consultant in lots of different London local authorities. One of my greatest passions is working to improve the life chances of black and working class children, so I continue to work as a freelance education consultant, which includes working in prisons and young offenders institutes. I also have an MA in Education Studies.
Lucky me to be awarded the CWA's John Creasey Dagger for my debut novel, 'Running Hot'. My novel 'Geezer Girls' was a 2014 World Book Night UK choice and long listed for The Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. And what an honour to be a contributor to the Edgar, Anthony and Macavity award-winning anthology, 'Books To Die For'.
I was the 2011 chair of The Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, the biggest crime fiction festival in Europe and chosen as one of the 50 Remarkable Women in Britain by Lady Geek in association with Nokia.
I have appeared on Canadian Television's Sun News Live, ITV's Daybreak and BBC Television's The Review Show, Newsnight, The Papers. And on The Culture Show talking about my fav author, Lee Child.
I have presented BBC Radio 4's 'Open Book', am a regular reviewer of crime drama on TV and the big screen on BBC Radio 4's flagship arts programme, Front Row, and am a commentator on Saturday Review. Being a guest commentator for the BBC World Service's coverage of the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony was a wow moment!
I have written for The Guardian, The Independent and The Observer newspapers on a wide range of social and educational issues.
I am a trustee of The National Youth Arts Trust. The Trust's patrons include Ewan McGregor, Hugh Bonneville and Grayson Perry. I am a patron of the SI Leeds Literary Prize.
I love to travel with my hot feet taking me to as far as Ethiopia and Cambodia, Laos and the Lebanon.
My Life story; To find out more about me checkout an interview I did with Christina Patterson of The Independent.
Sixty seconds with Dreda.; an interview I did with Reviewing The Evidence
Author of the Month; an interview I did with Crime Squad
Books and Writers Blog: I dropped in for a chat with the fab Keith. Check-it-out
Miloranbles Blog: Ever fancy writing a series about the same character? Checkout my thoughts on some of the things to think about at Milorambles Dreda Say Mitchell