I am a writer based in Leicester in the UK. I write novels, books for children, philosophy, and creative non-fiction. I started out my studies as a fine artist, fell in love with anthropology, spent time doing research in Indonesia, took an MA in anthropology, and eventually found myself writing a PhD in philosophy, where I explored the ways that philosophy and storytelling are inextricably intertwined.
I like writing that crosses unexpected boundaries, or that makes unanticipated connections. My books include the children’s books Lucy and the Rocket Dog (Knopf) and The Snorgh and the Sailor (Scholastic), the how-to guide Teach Yourself: Complete Write a Novel Course (Hodder & Stoughton), a memoir of anthropology, witchcraft and possession in Indonesia, Stealing with the Eyes (Haus Publishing, forthcoming), The Descent of the Lyre (Roman), a novel about music and banditry in 19th Century Bulgaria, an experimental novel based on the Chinese Book of Changes called Sixty-Four Chance Pieces (Earnshaw Books), and several philosophy books, including Introducing Happiness: A Practical Guide, a short overview of philosophies of happiness. I also contributed two chapters to Dorling Kindersley’s internationally bestselling The Philosophy Book. I am currently working on two new non-fiction books, and a further work for children.
Over the years, I have worked in universities in the UK and overseas. I have been visiting professor of humanities at the Parami Institute in Yangon, Myanmar, visiting associate professor in the School of Literature and Journalism at Sichuan University, China, and Reader in Writing and Creativity at De Montfort University, Leicester. I taught writing workshops in India, China, Bulgaria and elsewhere. I have been writer in residence at Birmingham Heart of England NHS Trust, the École supérieure des beaux-arts de Nantes Métropole in France, online at Necessary Fiction, and at the Writing West Midlands Young Writers’ Summer School at Warwick University. I also have years of experience teaching writing in the community.
Although writing may seem like a solitary business, it is often intensely collaborative and social. This is part of the reason that I have always loved teaching. I am very excited to be working with the OCA.