I started writing fiction in my mid-twenties. I was working as a copywriter in advertising when I was struck down with a post-viral condition. For two years I was unable to go back to work. I sat around, read a great deal and, when I had the energy, tried to write stories. A success in the 1991 Time Out short story competition gave me the confidence to write some more. Once well enough I returned to the day job but kept going with the stories and had a number published in various magazines including Punch, The New Statesman and Paris Review as well as broadcast on BBC Radio's Short Story. During this time I started writing a novel that was eventually published by Harper Collins as The Testimony Of Taliesin Jones. The novel won three prizes including the 1997 Somerset Maugham Award and, a couple of years later, was made into a film starring Jonathan Pryce. Buoyed by this I wrote a second novel, Jesus And The Adman, published in 1999, and began to have thoughts of giving up the day job to write fiction full time. My failure to get a third novel off the ground forced a re-think and I tried my hand at writing screenplays.
In 2004 I was given a break by BBC Drama who commissioned me to write a single drama - Mr Harvey Lights A Candle - that was broadcast the following year and starred Timothy Spall. For the next two seasons I wrote for Silent Witness and was just settling down to the new day job when I was asked to write a book about the Aids pandemic for the Salvation Army. I agreed and ended up making a 9-month journey, with my wife and two children, to Africa, India and China. Whilst we travelled 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 2001. The book describing that journey - More Than Eyes Can See - was published in 2007. I returned to the UK and to scripts, writing the factual drama Atlantis which went out on BBC1 in 2008. The next year I wrote a feature - Africa United - for Pathe that went on general release in October 2010. This opened the door to the commissioning of a script based on my grandfather's experiences in postwar Germany. I'd always wanted to write it as a novel and so, whilst writing the screenplay, I started writing the book that has now become The Aftermath. The Aftermath is published in the UK by Penguin and is currently being translated into 23 languages.