Hilary Menos was born in Luton in 1964 and read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Wadham College, Oxford. She took a diploma in Graphic Origination and Reproduction and a postgraduate diploma in Journalism, both at the London College of Printing, where she was also President of the Student Union 1987-88. She then worked as a food journalist in London, including a stint as a restaurant critic with Time Out, before moving to Devon in 1997 to renovate a Domesday Manor and bring up her three sons, Jethro, Bruno and Linus.
In 2004, together with her partner Andy Brodie, she set up Beenleigh Manor Organics, a 100 acre mixed organic farm, selling breeding stock and finished beef and lamb. At its peak the farm ran a herd of 40 pedigree Red Ruby Devon cattle and 150 organic Wiltshire Horn sheep. Their son Inigo was born in 2006.
She also worked with Exeter-based children’s theatre company Quirk Theatre as dramaturge and script overseer between 2012 and 2016, and completed an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2013. She has reviewed for Sphinx Review, PN Review and Warwick Review, among others.
Her son, Linus, was born with a congenital abnormality of the ureters and bilateral vesico-uteric reflux. A kidney infection at six weeks left him with impaired kidney function. In 2012 his kidneys started to fail and in 2014 Hilary donated one of her kidneys to him.