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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.

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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