It was at the age of eleven I learnt the power of words. I had written a piece at school which made my English teacher cry.
Words have been my companion ever since.
I was born in London and my family relocated to the West Country three years later - it was all my fault, a story for another time - but I have always considered myself a Londoner at heart.
I went to a very fine public school and then chose a university based on the quality of the nearby beach.
An exciting spell in international hotel management took me around the world from Jersey to Jakarta via Sydney, Perth, Singapore and eventually back to London.
After completing a post graduate diploma in journalism I spent several carefree years reporting on everything from dog shows to murder trials on a series of evening newspapers and then, quite inexplicable, bought a share of a West End restaurant with my new wife, Wendy.
Eighteen months later, even more inexplicably, we bought an empty, near derelict castle at the foot of the Pennine fells in Northern England; a decision even more puzzling for the fact that our dream was to move to southern France.
The rest is history and the inspiration of my first novel Undressed For Dinner.