I studied psychology, philosophy and flying trapeze, worked as a face painter and swam in Antarctica before becoming a lawyer for an international law firm. Then, when I was hit by a car aged 29, I decided to change career – I’m now an award-winning poet, author, broadcaster, performer and speaker. I write for adults and children, run writing workshops in schools and theatres, and have spoken / performed at venues such as the Royal Institution and Wigmore Hall, as well as on radio and TV.
My first non-fiction book for adults, Love Factually (UK and Australia) / Love Understood (US) was published by Bloomsbury in January. I also narrated the audiobook on Audible. The book explores love by combining academic research with interviews I conducted with hundreds of strangers across 40 countries on every continent. I’ve been really lucky to have had lots of coverage, including in The Daily Mail, The Express, The Guardian, The Telegraph, i Paper, Sunday Post, Marie Claire, The New Zealand Herald, and The Sydney Morning Herald (where it was also Pick of the Week), on the BBC World Service, BBC Radio 3, Eamonn Holmes on talkRADIO, BBC Radio London, Simon Mayo’s Book Club on Scala, BBC Manchester, WNYC, ABC Australia, ABC Adelaide (who featured it as Book of the Week), Triple J, Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, and BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour.
I also write picture books, non-fiction and poetry for children (I have some books in the pipeline but I can’t tell you about them just yet). Some of my writing is funny (or at least I hope it is…). But some is serious and addresses important things that aren’t always talked about, like sadness, fear or kindness. I often think about how we live and what we can do to make our lives, and the lives of others, a little bit better.
In 2016, I won the Caterpillar Poetry Prize, and my poems have been widely published around the world (including by Bloomsbury, Macmillan, Wayland, Otter-Barry Books, Troika, The Emma Press, The Irish Times, The Pool, The Caterpillar, Teach Primary, Springboard Stories, The Poetry School, SCBWI Bulletin, Countdown and Touchdown). They’ve have been illustrated by Chris Riddell, set to music by Cheryl Frances-Hoad and Graham Ross, and performed by Helena Bonham Carter. They’ve appeared on BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM, and last year Poetry Ireland featured me alongside Jackie Kay as one of eight poets displayed on the Dublin overground. This year, Poems in the Waiting Room selected my poetry to be distributed to thousands medical centres, rest homes, hospices and prisons around New Zealand.
“a fantastic nosy parker” The Guardian
“entertaining and informed” Sydney Morning Herald
“Bubbly, lively, endlessly curious and exceedingly thoughtful, Mucha possesses that trait all journalists would kill for: the knack for getting a total stranger to open up almost immediately and spill their guts.” New Zealand Herald