About me

I’ve tried many thing in my life – my first job was a gardener, working mainly with trees. I learnt the names of many types of tree, and as a result am able to greet a tree politely.

For many years I worked as a civil servant in London, Brussels, Cairo, Islamabad and a few other places besides. It kept me from doing the only thing I seem to have some aptitude for, which is writing stories. I buckled down to learning about the short story in about 2001, and had my first short stories published a year or two after that. Since then I’ve won the Fish Short Story Prize, the Manchester Fiction Prize and come second in the Bridport Prize and the Tom-Gallon Trust prize.

My favourite short story writers are Grace Paley and Nikolai Gogol, Richard Ford and Sarah Hall, Flannery O’Connor, Raymond Carver (a bit inevitable, old Raymond), Lorrie Moore, Richard Rash, Anton Chekhov and more others than it seems entirely sensible to go on to list

Photo by Georgina Lamrock 

Lately I’ve become a novelist. The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley was published by Doubleday in June 2022. Here’s a picture of the beautiful cover, by Marianne Issa El Khoury.

I live now live in Forres in the Highlands of Scotland. I’m a trustee of an amazing charity in Nairn called Green Hive https://www.hub.greenhive.co.uk and a director of the Nairn Book and Arts Festival https://www.nairnfestival.co.uk

Get in touch

I’d love to hear from you! Please drop me a message with any questions or comments, or if you’d like to discuss a future collaboration.

I run workshops, talk to book groups and balance balls on the end of my nose. You can get in touch via email, or use the form below.