I was born and raised in the UK, took a degree in Photography at the London College of Printing, spent twenty years in Australia and then relocated back to Britain in 2009. People often ask why – it’s probably got something to do with the fact that, despite the weather, Britain does better cheese and ale.
Since 1992 I’ve authored and regularly updated travel guides to Australia, China, Indonesia, Iceland and Hong Kong, helped compile a Chinese cookbook and written articles on subjects ranging from crime to horse racing and history. The Mercenary Mandarin, my biography of William Mesny – a nineteenth-century British adventurer who became a decorated general in the Chinese military – was published in March 2016. I also work as an editor.
Writing is an intensely focused profession, involving long stretches spent alone with a computer. At other times I like to get out of the house and pursue interests in wildlife, Chinese martial arts and scuba diving. Preferably somewhere warm.