Jess completed her first degree in Literature with The Open University after leaving college to have her daughter. She continued to work and study part-time, finally gaining a PhD in the field of creative writing studies. Jess’s dissertation focused on the ways in which disparate modes and genres can be brought into correspondence to create new hybrid forms in crime fiction. Her research covered several key crime fiction and magical realist texts, along with the work of John Millington Synge and Dylan Thomas. Jess has taught creative writing at undergraduate level and to adult learners. She has also worked as a support worker specialising in acquired brain injury, a PA to a Rector, and an administrator at a local community centre.
Jess was brought up in London as part of a large family from Mayo, and plans to settle somewhere along the west coast of Ireland in the next few years. Until then, she lives in London with her daughter.