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About me

I’m the author of The Sumerians, an epic trilogy of novels retelling the world’s oldest recorded myths.

I am a full-time writer, balancing novel-writing with some journalism (including as the science fiction reviewer for New Scientist magazine), but until recently I juggled my writing with full-time journalism.

My last job was as editor-in-chief of New Scientist, the world’s most popular science magazine. I did that job for five years, and before that I was a journalist on the Guardian for 16 years. During my time at the Guardian I served on almost every bit of the print paper and also its website, and also had the privilege of running the organisation’s Australian operation, based in Sydney, for two years. I loved Australia by the way, and in another life, I am still there.

You can read more about my journalistic career here, should you be so inclined.

Alongside my journalism career, I have always had a deep interest in prehistory and the earliest days of recorded history, and I have been lucky enough to skivvy on some digs, including one of a Bronze Age city in the east of Crete.

I've also, since childhood, written stories, but never completed a novel. Then in 2019 I re-read the Epic of Gilgamesh, and was deeply struck by Inanna, the goddess who slides through it as a secondary character. I wondered if I might be able to write Inanna an epic of her own, and the pandemic gave me the time and space to make a proper start of it.

I found myself stalling though … I found it impossible to judge if the work I was doing was of any worth. Then in September 2021 I joined a novel-writing evening class at the Faber Academy in London, and finally had the push I needed to complete Inanna.

With Inanna now published, I’m working on the next two instalments of the series.

I live in Dorset with my family and dog Argos, and in my free time I roam the fields around our home looking for prehistoric stone tools. I'm also interested in ice age art by the way and if you would like to join me on a tour of the ice age art caves of northern Spain in September 2024 please do. It's not cheap, but it's really an experience of a lifetime. All details here.

You can read recent interviews with me (on my publishing journey and research process) on Grimdark here, Fantasy Hive here and Ready Chapter 1 here.

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