I started writing fiction in my mid-twenties. I was working as a copywriter when I was struck down with a post-viral condition. I was unable to return to work for two years but during that time I started writing fiction: short stories and a novel.  A success in a Time Out short story competition gave me the confidence to write some more. I eventually returned to the day job but I kept going with the stories and had some published in magazines including Punch, The New Statesman and Paris Review and broadcast on BBC Radio's Short Story. I finished the novel and it was published in 1996 by Harper Collins as The Testimony Of Taliesin Jones. It won three prizes including the 1997 Somerset Maugham Award and, a couple of years later, was made into a film starring Jonathan Pryce and Ian Bannen. Buoyed by this I wrote a second novel,  Jesus And The Adman, published in 1999, and had thoughts of giving up the day job to write novels and screenplays full time.

In 2004 I was commissioned to write a drama - Mr Harvey Lights A Candle - for BBC Television. It was broadcast in 2005 and starred Timothy Spall and Celia Imre.  I wrote for Silent Witness for two seasons before I was asked to write a book about the Aids pandemic for the Salvation Army. I made a 9-month journey, with my wife and two children, to Africa, India and China.  I did broadcasts for the BBC World Service and Radio 4's Thought For The Day -  to which I had been a regular contributor since 2000. The book describing that journey - More Than Eyes Can See - was published in 2007. I returned to scripts,  writing the factual drama Atlantis for BBC1 in 2008.  In 2009 I wrote a feature - Africa United - for Pathe that was released 2010. In 2011, Scott Free commissioned a script based on my grandfather's experiences in postwar Germany. A year later I was offered a book deal to write the novel of the same story. The Aftermath was published in the UK by Penguin in 2013 and translated into 25 languages. The film based on the novel and starring Keira Knightley and Alexander Skarsgard will be released 2019. My latest novel - The Killing of Butterfly Joe -  was inspired by my time selling butterflies in glass cases in the US. It was published March 2018 by Picador.