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I was born and brought up in Birmingham (the UK one, not Alabama!) in a very ordinary suburb which when I was a child was still very working class. Right from early in my teens I was a Tolkien fan, and that has stayed with me all my life – I would happily have decamped to Middle-earth had I been given the chance! However, after school I did a variety of uninspiring jobs and read every available moment outside of them, and as a result I developed a fascination with history and all things old and mysterious.

It wasn’t until I was 40 that I got the chance to go to university to do the degree I’d always wanted to do. I did a BA in Medieval Studies at Birmingham University and then went on to do an MPhil in Medieval History, and had money been no object I would have loved to do a PhD. Sadly these days the expense of such post-grad study has taken it beyond my means, but in the meantime I had begun to create the world which became the Islands. By the time I began writing the second book I was already hooked and the characters were tapping me on the shoulder telling me to hurry up and get their story written.

I currently live in Worcester – a small town almost in the middle of England, with a superb medieval cathedral and very English countryside around it. However much of the inspiration for the Islands came from many holidays in Scotland, which I have come to know well and love dearly. I have walked the path which Andra and Sithfrey take with Sionnachan, and many of the other routes, although I am relieved to say I have never encountered any farlaith, or winds with a life of their own!

If you are interested in any further ramblings about me, there is an ‘interview’ on my author page on

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