The picture to the left shows me at my most lovely. It comes from a poster popular in Athena in the 1980s, which has been removed from circulation for obvious reasons.
I spent most of my childhood (just) on a hill farm in Radnorshire, which looked a lot like Penllan in The Claude Glass, and is the source of my enthusiasm for Wales, hills, castles, birds of prey and How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen by Russell Hoban. For a couple of years, we lived on a strawberry farm near the Malvern Hills in Herefordshire, which had a castle of its own and complimentary strawberries, then we lumbered back to the hills near Hay-on-Wye.
I spent three years at Royal Holloway College, University of London. A is in its debt.
For the past five years I have lived in Breconshire. Firstly, in a remote, inconvenient and entirely beautiful house above the Elan Valley reservoirs in the Cambrian Mountains, where you could see 30 miles from the kitchen window and, in the absence of electricity, I was obliged to run my laptop off tractor batteries and a horrific old generator which preferred not to work in cold weather, which was much of the time. As I have since discovered, the house is well-known in certain circles as the site of an alien abduction in 1909. It was also the original inspiration for Peter J. Conradi's superb At the Bright Hem of God: Radnorshire Pastoral.
These days I live in the Brecon Beacons with my wife Charlie and our two small and vocal children named Edwyn and Alice. It is here that I wrote Konstantin - much of it while tramping round Mynydd Illtyd since views of the Epynt, Pen-y-Fan and the Black Mountains do wonders for thinking clearly. The hall is papered with The Tempest, Lanark by Alasdair Gray, The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad, The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins and The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz by Russell Hoban.
I hope to paper the bathroom with The Hill of Dreams by Arthur Machen and something by Alan Garner.
Among other things, I have worked as a journalist, a sawmiller, a T-shirt salesman, a Zimbabwean music promoter and a tutor of creative writing. At the moment I am working on a second Radnorshire novel, which seems likely to be set in the Edw valley and to follow the life of a cantankerous giant of a farmer, from the Second World War into the present day.