I grew up on the east coast of America surrounded by hills, forest and shopping malls. Like all good American boys, I played baseball, obeyed my father, went to church and pledged allegiance to the flag. I wanted to be Batman when I grew up. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out.
I left America when I was 20 and crossed the ocean to Ireland. I spent four years there, finishing my undergraduate degree at University College, Cork and later a MA in Anglo-Irish Literature. I met my wife, Mags, there. Though we live in Bristol now, we go back to Ireland every summer.
Mags and I lived in London at first. Our three children – Hannah, Conor and Ben – were all born there. Though we loved London, the children wanted a dog more so we moved to the greener spaces of Bristol. We have two now, a golden retriever called Winnie and a spaniel called Rosie.
Unlike my children, Winnie and Rosie enjoy posing for pictures.
Most of my working life has been spent in classrooms, as a teacher and student. A few years ago, I completed a MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University which changed the way I wrote and thought about stories. Bath Spa introduced me to great tutors, new friends and brilliant writers. Here’s a picture of me on my graduation day with my mate, Jo Pestel.
Soon after I graduated from Bath Spa, I met my agent, Becky Bagnell who helped steer me and my manuscript in the right direction. That MS eventually became Fire Boy, my very first book – ad hopefully not the last!