My main influences as a child was a love for the natural world and a desire never to have an office job when I grew up! I was obsessed with nature documentaries and drawn towards studying science but my restlessness and interest in so many different things has led me to have a bizarre sequence of jobs.
To date I have been a shop assistant, cleaner in a mental hospital, school science teacher, RAF Officer, sound engineer, musician, writer, tree surgeon, multi-media producer and wildlife film tutor and tour organiser. As you can imagine I’ve been self-employed for many of those!
In the late 90s, when websites were relatively new, I realised there was a need for information for aspiring wildlife film-makers so I created wildlife-film.com and edited its monthly newsletter Wildlife Film News for many years.
In 1999 I founded WILDEYE – The International School of Wildlife Film-making – and ran this for 20 years, seeing over 2,000 students through our doors during that time. I was also one of the founders of the international organisation Filmmakers for Conservation and was Vice President for the first three years. At the same time I formed the imprint Wildeye Publishing to publish instructional wildlife film-making books.
For much of my life I have been dismayed at the way we treat the natural world and as a result I am keen to promote organic principles and permaculture techniques, sustainabilty, veganism and green-thinking. Several of my books have been in these fields. I have had a passionate interest in self-sufficiency since childhood and still grow my own food.
Although I have written books and many magazine articles on a wide range of non-fiction subjects I always had a hankering to write a novel and in 2011 my supernatural thriller Black Shuck: The Devil’s Dog was published. This was shortlisted for the East Anglia Book Awards and was Norfolk Magazine’s Book of the Month.
Wildeye enabled me to plan and experience many adventures around the world. Amongst other things I have walked the African plains with Maasai Warriors, tracked tigers in India on elephant-back, explored the Amazon rainforest, swum with sharks, trekked across Tanzanian deserts on a camel, filmed cheetahs hunting in Kenya and mountain gorillas in Uganda. It sounds idyllic but a lot of the time it was pretty stressful being responsible for a group of students! I’m not sure what further adventures await as in 2018 I decided not to fly again in order to reduce my carbon footprint.