As a freelance writer, researcher and reader I’m particularly interested in how personal lives intersect with the big shocks and surges in history – one of the threads in Tolkien and the Great War. The challenge of unearthing the past is a major spur. I want to discover not just the facts, but how it felt to be in that place and time, and how the background of influences and events shaped character and creativity.
I read widely, with particular interests in literary fiction, science fiction and fantasy, history, biography, myth and legend, and words and names; and broader curiosity about earth sciences, archaeology, exploration, space, rock and pop, art, and much else.
I studied English Language and Literature at St Anne’s College, Oxford, and trained as a journalist, working for five years in local London newspapers and for thirteen years on the London Evening Standard. Latterly I have combined freelance writing and editing with my other activities as public speaker and teacher.