Claire Gradidge was born and brought up in Romsey. After a career as, among other things, a nurse and a school librarian, she went to the University of Winchester, where she graduated in 2009 with a first-class honors BA in creative writing. In January 2018, she was awarded a PhD in creative writing and The Unexpected Return of Josephine Fox was written as the creative element of her PhD study. An early version of the opening 3000 words was highly commended in the Good Housekeeping magazine competition in 2012. She has taught at the University of Winchester as an associate lecturer for six years and has also had some short fictions and poems published in South, Orbis, and Vortex. She has been married for forty years and has two adult sons.