I write short stories and novels. My stories are usually about ordinary men and women who fall out with themselves. Sometimes this works out pretty well for them, but not often. I am winner of the 2017 Fish Prize, the 2016 TSS prize and the Manchester Fiction Prize 2015. I was runner-up in the 2014 Bridport prize.
You can read some of my stories on this site (check the short stories menu).
I have a strong affection for the following: llamas, pigs, parrots, the land of Greece and everyone in it, the EU, trees, especially my Gingko, cheese, oysters, fresh air, baroque music and good beer as brewed by Cerne Abbas brewery. And good books, obviously. I currently live in rural Dorset, which I also love.
My favourite writers of short stories include: Grace Paley, Flannery O’Connor, Raymond Carver, Richard Ford, Anton Chekhov, Nikolai Gogol, Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood and Lorrie Moore.
Favourite novelists include: Elizabeth Taylor, George Eliot, Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, Hilary Mantel, Philip Roth, Charles Dickens and J.M. Coetzee.
There are others. These are the ones at the top of my mind as I write this.
I once worked as a civil servant. During those years I worked in many different government departments including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a rather wonderful organisation, now extinct, called the National School of Government. I’ve lived and worked in lots of different countries and can report that Egyptians are optimistic, friendly and generous; Slovenia is the prettiest country to fit on to a large pocket handkerchief; Pakistan is astonishingly beautiful, defiantly cheerful and has the most decorous lorries on the planet; and Kenyans will all be millionaires one day, but not yet.
I am unavailable for weddings, bar-mitzvahs and funerals, but do run creative writing workshops if that’s the sort of thing you are looking for.
Thanks for reading, and get in touch if you’d like to.