Half Man, Half Writer!
I was born in Nottingham, United Kingdom, in 1970. I moved to Australia at the age of five, and due to my extreme youth, decided to bring my parents with me. We moved from the Midlands of England to Kambalda, a town on the edges of the Nullarbor Plain and Great Victoria Desert.
You can’t teach me a thing about culture shock.
God I was cute. What the fuck happened?
Four years later, after a stint in the wheat belt town of Narrogin (baaaaa!) and approximately seventeen thousand reminders that I was, indeed, a pommy, I arrived in the seaside town of Rockingham, fifty-odd kilometers shy of the state capital, Perth.
Shortly after arriving, I discovered the Goon Show via my parent’s record collection. And on my ninth birthday I found science fiction. More precisely, I received a cheap hardback SF anthology of the type you give kids, and within its pages, discovered Frank Roberts’ It Could Be You and an excerpt from Harry Harrison’s The Stainless Steel Rat. These fucked me up for life. Somewhere, deep inside, something made a sound like a shattering light bulb. And that’s when it all started to change. If nothing else, it gave me something to think about while having the shit kicked out of me for being a) a pommy, b) thin, c) short-sighted, d) intelligent (once it was discovered I could use two different forms of cutlery in the same meal, my fate was sealed) or e) any combination of the above.
There is a very good reason I maintain no contact with anyone with whom I went to school.
Of course, it could be argued there's a very good reason why they don't stay in contact with me. Possibly to do with the hair.
After graduating from Safety Bay Senior High School, I qualified for the Australian Defence Force Academy, and was three days from the plane when I informed my mother that I had changed my mind and was going to study Creative Writing at University instead, thus entering into a lifetime of brilliant career moves and constant parental disappointment. Three years later, after studying under the likes of Elizabeth Jolley, Anne Brewster and Dorothy Hewett, I emerged completely unsuited to Real Life ™, so did what all right-minded thinking art types do: I got a Grad Dip in teaching and joined the Public Service.
In the intervening years I've taken detours into stand-up comedy, cartooning, arts administration, and bizarrely, tennis coaching. I currently work days as an Arts & Culture officer in local Government. One day, something will give.
Along the way I married his teenage sweetheart after bumping into her eight years after we first split; became a widower when she died shortly after the birth of our only child; been a father; step-father; Bonus Father; and Step-grandfather. And I'm not yet 45.
My first short story sale was to Australian SF magazine Orb in mid-2001, followed half an hour later by my second—third place in the third quarter of that year’s Writers of the Future Competition. Since then I've sold over seventy stories to a number of markets. In 2003, 8 magazines were launched at Swancon, that year’s National SF Convention, and I was in 7 of them. So far my career has given me a collection, a tutoring post at Clarion South, and a handful of awards in the intervening years.
Occasionally I do all right.
There’s more about all that scattered across this website. Feel free to rummage.
I'm now more than happily married to the writer Lyn Battersby, and share my house with three permanently-resident kids, as well as an ever-changing roster of other children and their friends. I am too fat, too cynical, and too sore for my own good. To paraphrase local comedic demigod Vic Demised, thirty years ago I set out to explore the world, and it's taken me as far as Clarkson.
Occasionally I do really bloody well.
I live in Mandurah, which suits me just fine.