I was born in Kingston upon Thames and we came out to Australia when I was very young. Our first-class trip from London to Melbourne – on a fabulous P&O cruise ship – may well be responsible for giving me a taste for old school glamour and sea travel at a tender age. Unfortunately, I’ve never quite managed to recapture the experience. Subsequently when I backpacked across Asia and Europe, I had reoccurring dreams of Raffles Hotel and the other great hotels that feature in the classics and the writings of Noel Coward, Ernest Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald.
After university, I lived and worked in London and Tokyo. Large, cosmopolitan cities have always fascinated me, particularly in the midnight hours. As a child, I loved sleeping under the stars and commandeered a wonky, full-length deck chair for my bed. It had a large pop up sun hood that was most useful when frost descended, or a sudden shower interrupted my dreams.
Much of my art photography has been night photography. There’s a lot of fun to be had creeping around armed with a camera and tripod while everyone else is sound asleep.
While exhibiting my photography in Melbourne galleries, I realized that what I really wanted to do was to create imaginary stories and interior monologues. And so I returned to the fiction stories and plays I’d been writing since I was a kid.
My jobs have been many and varied and I’ve worked as a Secondary teacher, photographer, hotel maid, fringe actor and in art galleries, bars, nightclubs and other minimal wage jobs too ghastly to mention. At present I’m living in a garret in Melbourne.
Many actors lay claim to Method Acting, so I’ve decided that I’m a devotee of Method Writing. Accordingly during the research process for The Scandalous Life of Sasha Torte, I immersed myself in the dark art of pastry making and undertook an intrepid journey across the wild, wild West Coast of Tasmania.
It’s astounding what you can get away with once you’ve admitted you’re doing research for a book. During two road trips to Tasmania I studied Tasmanian history and culture, took photographs and chatted with locals, while stoically working my way through the fine wines, champagnes and delectable produce of the island. A most agreeable way to spend summer.
My first novel Hotel du Barry was published in 2016 and The Scandalous Life of Sasha Torte in 2017.