I am a journalist, author and former columnist for national and regional newspapers. I am also the owner of a holiday company, The French House Party, Carcassonne.
My first two books - Ghostbusters
UK (with Robin Furman, ghostbuster-extraordinaire) and Cannibal Killers: The Impossible Monsters were published in the UK by Robert Hale. Cannibal Killers was then taken up by various international publishers. For example, it appears in Czech and Japanese. indecipherably. Unless you actually
are Czech or Japanese, that is.
In summer 2013, my tribute book to the outstanding Scottish author Iain Banks was published: Gothic Dimensions: Iain Banks, Timelord. The book was adapted from my doctoral thesis on Banks - it remains the only full-length study of all his work, both mainstream and science-fiction. Iain died
in June 2013, a great loss, not just to admirers like me, but to the wider literary world.
Publication of a fourth book - my first novel, called
Yes-land - is imminent.
My degrees are in English Literature and Psychology (BA
and MA) and a PhD in Gothic Literature from Bristol University .
Just as a change from exploring the darker side of human nature, I play lots of
tennis. Not that this can't be brutal too - but it pales when set against the extreme sport of ping-pong, the speed and competitiveness of which can reduce you to a gibbering wreck.
The way to avoid this is to choose as your opponent a very small child or someone blind. Then it's a nice change to be able to punch the air and shout "Yes!" when you beat and humiliate them.
This is the way to be: indomitable in defeat; insufferable in triumph.
In 2005 I started up and continue to micro-manage my company, The French House Party, Carcassonne, which provides upscale all-inclusive short-break tutored creative arts and cookery holidays at an 8-bedroom house with pool, tennis court and boules pitch in South-West France.
FHP was recommended as a top learning retreat in the National Geographic book “The 100 Best Worldwide Vacations to Enrich Your Life”, by US travel writer Pam Grout.
In 2017 The Sunday Times chose it as one of the world's 100 best holidays and the Daily Telegraph named our Michelin-star residential cookery courses as one of France's top ten food and drink holidays.