I was raised in Grantham, Lincolnshire and attended the King's Grammar School after passing the Eleven Plus exam. In the latter I clearly remember writing an essay on Oliver Cromwell – my first piece of military writing.
Then came a BA in history and international relations at Nottingham followed by a Master of Philosophy course at the University of York. The subject was the generalship and cavalry of Prince Rupert of the Rhine, my boyhood hero, during the English Civil War. The year I spent researching and writing at York, Oxford and at the British Library in London was a truly wonderful time. However, like all great times it eventually came to an end and I was forced to find employment.
By this time I was living in London and started work at the London Borough of Haringey. It was hell, but it did allow me to finish my thesis. Then fate took a hand and I landed a job as a research officer with the Defence Intelligence Staff in Whitehall. Writing top-secret intelligence reports was highly exciting, until I realised that their security clearance was so high that only a handful of people were cleared to read them. In 1990, therefore, I decided to apply for a job in the publishing industry as an editor. I joined a small company in said position in the summer of that year and the rest, as they say, is history.
I also write under the pen name Steve Crawford, though not every book that has Steve Crawford on the cover is one of mine.
I currently live in London with my wife Karen and a bulldog called Nelson (that's him on the right).