Tabitha Suzuma was born in London, the eldest of five children. She attended a French school in the UK and grew up bilingual. However, she hated school and would sit at the back of the class and write stories, which she got away with because her teachers thought she was taking notes. Aged fourteen, Tabitha left school against her parents' wishes. She continued her education through distance learning and went on to study French Literature at King's College London.
After graduating, Tabitha trained as a primary school teacher and whilst teaching full-time, wrote her first novel.
A NOTE OF MADNESS tells the story of seventeen-year-old Flynn, a piano prodigy who is diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
In 2004 Tabitha Suzuma left classroom teaching to divide her time between writing and tutoring. This gave her time to write her next four novels:
FROM WHERE I STAND - a psychological thriller about Raven, a deeply disturbed teenager in foster care who self-harms and harbours a dreadful secret.
WITHOUT LOOKING BACK - about teenage dance sensation Louis, who suddenly finds himself uprooted from his home and whisked abroad on holiday by his mentally unstable father, until he sees his face on a missing person's poster.
A VOICE IN THE DISTANCE - a sequel to A NOTE OF MADNESS about Flynn and his continuing struggle to cope with his bipolar disorder without jeopardising his career or losing the girl he loves.
FORBIDDEN - Maya and Lochan are in love... But they are brother and sister.
Published in six different languages, this is her most controversial and heart-breaking novel to date.
HURT (out Sept 2013) - At seventeen, Matheo Walsh is Britain's most promising diving champion. He is wealthy, popular - and there's Lola, the girlfriend of his dreams. But then there was that weekend. A weekend he cannot bring himself to remember. All he knows is that what happened has changed him. Mathéo is faced with the most devastating choice of his life. Keep his secret, and put those closest to him in terrible danger. Or confess, and lose Lola for ever . . .
Tabitha Suzuma's books have been nominated for a number of awards including the Carnegie Medal, the Waterstone's Book Prize, the Jugendliteraturpreis and the Branford Boase Book Award. She has won the Young Minds Award, the Stockport Book Award, and the Premio Speciale Cariparma for European Literature.
Life as a student is good for Flynn. As one of the top pianists at the Royal College of Music, he has been put forward for an important concert, the opportunity of a lifetime. But beneath the surface, things are changing. On a good day, he feels full of energy and life, but on a bad day being alive is worse than being dead. Sometimes he wants to compose and practise all night, at other times he can't get out of bed. His flatmate Harry tries to understand but is increasingly confused by Flynn's erratic mood swings. His friend Jennah tries to help, but Flynn finds it difficult to be around her as he struggles to control his feelings and behaviour. With the pressure of the forthcoming concert and the growing concern of his family and friends, emotions come to a head. Sometimes things can only get worse before they get better. Review A Note of Madness is much more than a book about depression: it's about brilliance, fear, love and living. That is its achievement, and what makes it a heartingly good read. The Guardian An exhilarating, emotive and at times exhausting read, which I couldn't put down TES Intense and extremely moving...written with compassion and perception, this is a moving, impressive debut. The Bookseller ...a page-turner. INIS (Children's Books Ireland Magazine) Mental health issues are tackled here with insight and integrity...a book from the real world. -- Lesley Agnew The Bookseller About the Author Tabitha Suzuma was born in 1975 and lives in London. She has always loved writing and would regularly get into trouble at the French Lycee for writing stories instead of listening in class. She used to work as a primary school teacher and now divides her time between writing and tutoring. A Note of Madness is her first novel. The story was inspired by her sixteen-year-old brother Shin, a fantastic pianist (and talented beatboxer), and her sister Thalia who has suffered from depression. She has just started on her third novel and is planning to write many more.