I am a writer and philosopher based in Leicester, UK, where I am currently senior lecturer in creative writing in the School of Humanities at De Montfort University.
I write fiction, philosophy, and for children. I am particularly interested in philosophical stories and story-like philosophies, or anything in between. My first novel, Cargo Fever, draws upon Indonesian folklore and legend to explore the boundaries between human beings, gods, ancestors and the animal world. My second novel, The Descent of the Lyre, is a reworking of the myth of Orpheus, set in 19th Century Bulgaria, which is said to have been the Thracian home of the legendary musician-king. Meanwhile, my philosophy book, Finding Our Sea-Legs, weaves tales of talking fish, desert journeys and ocean crossings to explore the nature of ethics. More recently, I have started to write for children. My first childrens book, The Snorgh and the Sailor, is a curiously philosophical little story about friendship, adventure, solitude and soup, and was described by Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson as Outstanding adventurous and quirky.
I am currently working on a number of books, including a philosophical monograph on storytelling in the work of the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, a novel of sorts based on the Chinese Book of Changes, or Yijing, another novel on the subject of myth and music, some further projects for children, and another project that combines my interest in Chinese, my experience of teaching creative writing, and my philosophical interests.
I was brought up in Norfolk (which was the inspiration for the setting of my first childrens book). I studied for a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1994) and after a period of research at Pattimura University, Ambon, Indonesia, I took a masters degree in anthropology from Durham (1997). Later, I took a PhD in philosophy from Staffordshire University (2007), where I wrote my thesis on ethics, philosophy and obscure Indonesian gods. I moved to the East Midlands in 2008 to take up a job at De Montfort University, and now I live in the West End of Leicester.