Portrait of the writer as a young art student…

I moved around a lot as a child – my father was in the military. I was the youngest of four children. We lived in England, Wales and – for a few very happy years in the 1960s – in Gibraltar, on the southern tip of Spain. When my father left the army we settled in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the North East of England, living on two different council estates to the west of the city. I left home in 1976 to go to art college in Manchester. What an amazing time to be a music-loving art student. I was there for four years before heading off to London to seek my fortune as an illustrator.

Although I designed theatre posters and building site screens and even provided artwork for the labels on cans of beans, I worked mainly as an editorial illustrator, caricaturist and political cartoonist. I worked for most of the UK broadsheet newspapers and spent six years working as one of a team of cartoonists on The Economist. I was political cartoonist on the Independent for a short time in the 1990s

I have always considered myself to be a writer and have habitually made up stories for as long as I can remember.

My first published writing was in the form of strip cartoons – Babel for the Observer,Bestiary for the Independent on Sunday and Payne’s Grey for the New Statesman.

I have written short stories for BBC radio and have contributed to anthologies

I wrote my first book for children in 2000 and I have had at least one book published every year since. I have won several awards and have been translated into many languages. My Tales of Terror series has been adapted for the theatre in the UK, the Czech Republic and Germany

I now live, write, draw and paint in Cambridge in the UK.

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