About the Author

I was born in 1977 in Frankfurt, West Germany, and grew up in Belgium and Connecticut, USA. I came back to England to study history at Lincoln College Oxford, where I met my future wife Emma and spent a lot of time doing theatre.

When I left university I knew that I wanted to be a novelist. I stayed in Oxford to be with Emma, and got a job at a local actuarial firm to pay the bills. The company paid well and grew quickly, with the result that I neglected the writing and concentrated on the career.

After three years, though, I'd had enough. Very fortuitously, the same week that I decided to start working part-time and focus on my writing, I saw an advert for the Debut Dagger competition. I entered it with the first chapter of what became The Blighted Cliffs and finished runner-up. On the back of that, I found an agent and eventually a publisher.

I currently live in Clapham, South London, although I'll be moving north to York in January 2005. Under the pseudonym Tom Harper I also write a series of historical novels set around the First Crusade - the first is called The Mosaic of Shadows and is published by Century.

Photo: P. Hayios