I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, although my first “book”, when I was about six years old, was made up of Jacob’s Club wrappers (and I was devastated when it blew away!)
I moved around a bit before I was aged one (Swaziland, now Eswatini) and in the East Midlands before moving to Hertfordshire. We moved to Belgium when I was seven, and returned to Hertfordshire when I was thirteen. One of the first bits of homework was to write an “extended” story. Most people wrote 5 pages, and I ended up writing 30! Later, I continued writing about the characters and added some new ones over the next eight years at which time a continuous narrative was completed. It was around 260,000 words. Completely unwieldy, it was never submitted for publication. A couple of years ago I met the teacher who’d encouraged me. She’s now a writer herself: Suzie Wilde.
My first major employment was working in a film company as Production Assistant with Michael Klinger, producer of films like Get Carter and Gold, and Tony Klinger, producer of The Kids are Alright (among many other projects). Around this time, I started writing (and finishing) novels. The second novel I wrote, Spirit Level, was published in 1990. I then moved to Plymouth and joined an Environmental organisation, responsible for their Press and PR.
I studied a BA in English Studies as a mature student at the University of Stirling (specialising in Medieval Literature) and then an Interdisciplinary MA in Late Medieval Studies at the University of York, where I wrote a dissertation on a fourteenth century theological and scientific debate which used the Dream Vision as its medium. I also received my PhD in English from York: my thesis was a comparative study of the Latin and Anglo-Norman versions of the Voyage of St Brendan. I was made a Fellow of the HEA in June 2016.
I am currently Adjunct Assistant Professor at Richmond University, the American International University in London where I teach British Fantasy Literature and Early English History as well as co-managing a travel programme around Britain. Until recently, I was Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University of Northampton, where I worked for 13 years, teaching at all undergraduate levels, on the MA and supervising PhDs (one Completion, two to Transfer status). I co-organised a series of Fantasy, Science Fiction and Gothic Literature symposia held at Richmond University and the University of Northampton.
At Northampton, I was Programme Leader for BA English (2017‒18) and one of the Year Tutors (2013‒2017) working with the Subject Leader to manage the degrees. In 2014 I developed a model for Red Kite, the Creative Writing Yearbook which ran to seven volumes, ensuring that all students who submitted are included in an ISBN-registered publication by the time they graduate. This model has also been used to publish conference proceedings from the University of Jendouba (Creating Myths as a Narrative of Empowerment and Disempowerment and Order and Disorder) and is the model for a new initiative, Writers of Tomorrow.
Publications and Research
After I completed my studies, I published a monograph based on my PhD thesis as The Legend of St Brendan: A Comparative Study of the Latin and Anglo-Norman Versions (Brill, 2008). In 2020/21 I completed the Spring-Heeled Jack Library, and have been working on chapters for the Palgrave Companions to Gothic Literature on Nigel Kneale, Doctor Who, Spring-Heeled Jack and Eleanor Sleath. I have also recently submitted chapters on Medieval fairies, August Derleth and the Christianising of the Cthulhu mythos and on “Medieval Gothicness” in Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. My forthcoming projects include a translation and commentary on a 14th century treatise on Cosmology and a survey of English mythology.
My recent novels are:
Crossing the Threshold (2012); Twisting Fate’s Arm (2012); The Gawain Legacy (2014); Heaven’s Devils (2014); Cthulhu Rising (2014); Isla’s Inscryption (2018). I recently completed my latest novel, Nina’s Secret, which I expect will be published in 2022.