Emma Smith-Barton was born in South Wales to Pakistani parents. Growing up between cultures has heavily influenced her writing and she is especially interested in exploring themes of identity and belonging. Before writing, she taught in secondary schools for six years and is passionate about increasing awareness of mental health in young people. Her short stories have appeared in various publications such as Mslexia and The Bristol Short Story Prize 2016 anthology (under her pseudonym for adult fiction, Amna Khokher). The Million Pieces of Neena Gill is Emma's first novel for young adults.