Elena van Lieshout was trained as a classical pianist at Chethams School of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and gained an M.A. in English Literature at St Hilda’s College Oxford. She has spent most of her adult life in France, Austria and New Zealand teaching music and English, and has worked as a translator, tour director, cruise manager and police officer. She completed her first novel in 2010 just before beginning her M.A. in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, where she is a full-time student.