I grew up in West Yorkshire, England, and have finally come back there to settle down after roaming the world. As a child I watched my parents rehearse plays for the local drama group in our living room, and later joined the Greenroom of Bingley Little Theatre, and went to the Edinburgh Fringe with Saltaire Youth Theatre in 1979. As soon as I came back to Britain I got involved again, and began to write plays, at first for studio production and then for main stage. This is where I see my future as a writer.
I always liked to be different; studied Chinese at Cambridge when hardly anyone was doing that (a grand total of 3 of us graduated that year in Chinese), and that sent me off to China, first of all. China in the mid '80s was quite an adventure. I was asked to do some teaching, found my vocation and went on to work in Bavaria and Japan, the latter for 7 years.
Now I'm a Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University, working mostly with international students. In addition to English language I've taught linguistics and modern history; if you read my books (and of course I hope you will) you'll see that language and history are my great loves.