Joanne Harris was born in Barnsley in 1964, of a French mother and an English father. She studied Modern and Mediaeval Languages at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and was a teacher for fifteen years, during which time she published three novels: The Evil Seed (1989), Sleep, Pale Sister (1993) and Chocolat (1999), which was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp.
Since then, she has written ten more novels: Blackberry Wine, Five Quarters of the Orange, Coastliners, Holy Fools, Gentlemen and Players, The Lollipop Shoes, Runemarks, blueeyedboy, Runelight and Peaches for Monsieur le Curé, which was published in May 2012, plus two books of short stories: Jigs & Reels and A Cat, A Hat and a Piece of String. She has written, with cookery writer Fran Warde, the cookbooks The French Kitchen and The French Market. Her fantasy novels Runemarks and Runelight were inspired by her longstanding fascination with Norse mythology, as is the forthcoming The Gospel of Loki. Her books are now published in over 50 countries and have won a number of British and international awards.
She plays bass guitar in a band first formed when she was 16, is currently studying Old Norse and lives with her husband Kevin about 15 miles from the place she was born.