I was born in a small town in the northwest of England called Crewe. Soon after, my family relocated to the Midlands and that’s where I spent my formative years, growing up on the outskirts of a working class steel town called Corby. I went to school in a number of places including Sydney, Australia and also made my way across the breadth of the English education system from a prestigious private boarding school, to a state high school until eventually I landed at a community college after being expelled for writing an unauthorized school magazine. Most of my time was spent playing in bands and thinking about music. I started my first band at 14, an industrial-metal outfit called Contempt.
After an uneventful three years of University in Manchester the only highlight of which was seeing Manchester United win the treble, I moved to London where I managed to get myself into a band that had a record contract. The party lasted a short time, notably highs were Motorhead’s 25th birthday party and free music gear, before the band got dropped from the label and I was confronted with having to find a real job.
During this time I starting writing. Mostly because I wanted a creative outlet that didn’t rely on other people. Early efforts were screenplays inspired by gangster films which turned out to be directionless melodramas. Progress was slow but I did manage to get to the Cannes Film Festival although my twenty printed scripts never made it out of my suitcase.
I continued to write and play in bands but started to take my job in finance more seriously. London is an expensive place to live and dreams don’t pay the rent. Sorry!
Then in the summer of 2005, something happened that would change my life for ever. I met a girl from Los Angeles in Regents Park. Within months I was living on the beach in California. I was once again playing in a hard rock band but this time at the Whiskey-a-Go-Go and the Viper Room. I was also surrounded by writers, mostly in movies. This accelerated my passion for writing all the more. I started reading scripts at a production company and managed to get a biography of the last years of Napoleon’s life, which I had written with my dad, optioned. Al Pacino was attached to star. But like many things in Hollywood, it fizzled without a trace. Still, I did get to play Gary Oldman’s body double in a movie and Christian Slater bought me a Xbox (which I sold on Ebay).
Here’s a link to our most popular hit! See if you can spot me. After touring with the band and playing SXSW and other parts of the US the need to pay rent once more reared its ugly head and I got myself a real job. Here's also a link to another popular hit of ours!
In 2012 I started writing Hogtown, my first novel. It was based on my own experiences as a musician and I also wanted it to be a kind of guide for people who didn’t really know what they were doing when it came to music. It took five years to write two books. I don’t write fast, something I am planning to change, but I love the creation of original material.
I wrote Santa Inc. as a script more than ten years ago. I love Christmas time but I wanted to write a story that had the spirit of Dickens or Dahl about it – something a little dark, a little funny and with a little twist. So I spent a long time working on the story and the characters until I felt they were just right.
I’ve been a life long model train nut and when I became a dad I would read to my kids every night. Most of the stories were kind of boring. I wanted to read about trains so I wrote an illustrated book about it. I have collaborated with Timothy Banks who I think is an awesome illustrator.
And that’s really why I love to write stories for children and young adults – the whole world is open during that time in your life, there are no constraints, nothing is holding you back from living incredible adventures everyday if you know how to find them. That’s what I love to write about. I hope you enjoy my work. I am very excited to release this book and I would love to hear your thoughts.
I still live in California. I still play music,. I still love Manchester United. And I still love to write.
A FEW OF MY FAVORITES...
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