Self injury
my brother and me


I was born in 1965 in Blackburn, Lancashire. My dad was the sixth of eight children, my mum the first of seven, and I have one (older) brother, who is much funnier than me. If you'd like to see some very old pictures of my family, click here.

I went to primary and grammar school in Blackburn, then took a three-year course in English at Magdalen College, Oxford, where I met my partner, Kati. After many years of infertility, we now have three children, Sam, Sophie, and Benjamin, all conceived through IVF.

After college, I joined (and later edited) Zzap!64, a games magazine dedicated to the Commodore 64; since then I have been involved in The Word Factory. This began as a freelance writing company, but now includes onscreen editing, help text generation, product testing, project management, and DTP.

I've also written some novels. The Dinner Party was published by Transworld in 1998 (Le Dîner, a French translation, appeared in 2003); and in July 1999 it was followed by The Apprentice. A year later The Apprentice was published in the US by St Martin's Press, under the alternative title of Damned if You Do; it has since been translated into Russian and Italian. After taking a decade off to help raise my children, I returned to writing in 2011 with a dystopian SF novel called Max, followed it in 2012 with the apocalyptic Another World; and have now published all my back catalogue as ebooks.