About Sibel

Sibel was born in Greece to Yugoslav parents. Her family led a nomadic lifestyle, moving from one country to another as her father took on postings abroad. She started primary school in Belgrade, but was educated mostly in Libya, Uganda, Austria and the United States. At home, the family spoke Croatian and Sibel has remained fluent in the language, enabling her to translate family documents into English.

After studying science at Hunter College in New York and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Sibel moved to London to complete a PhD at Queen Elizabeth College. Subsequently, she forged a career researching and teaching food microbiology. She is Professor Emerita at London South Bank University.

During her work as a scientist, Sibel published many research papers and academic books, most of them as dry as tinder. Possibly the only digestible example of her scientific outpourings was her food hygiene textbook, written for first year undergraduate students in hospitality, Essential Microbiology and Hygiene for Food Professionals – 1st Edition (routledge.com).

As soon as she started writing The Rooster  (read more at rowman.com), Sibel realised that she would need to shed her scientific writing habits and learn to write creatively. To this end, she enrolled on several creative writing courses at the Faber Academy, the Unthank School of Writing and The Literary Consultancy. She was fortunate to benefit from tutoring by established writers Julia Blackburn, Gillian Slovo, Stephen Carver, Paul Kingsnorth, and Tom Bromley.

Sibel has one son and lives in London with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Mishka (pictured).