I am of Hispanic, Cuban, French and also, apparently, Jewish and Arabic stock, although you would never tell as looks-wise I have inherited everything from my mother’s Irish, North-of-England roots. My family on my father’s side were all taken out on the first day of the Spanish Civil War and shot. My grand-father survived the firing squad three times only to die of a smoking related illness in 1977.
After fleeing a monastery, my father, pursued by the Vatican, landed on the protestant shores of England where he met my mother. Before each of them gave it a second thought they got married and it was not long after that I was born. They settled in Bristol, in a top floor flat overlooking a train line, where they still live now. I don’t remember much of my early life, though I do remember a pair of shoes walking down the stairs without any feet in them and once I watched a character step out of a stone fresco to talk to my dad.
I grew up like any normal child. I hated school. Was very very bad, hanging out with a gang of delinquents at the local prefabs, underage drinking, getting stoned and discovering that my body reacted strangely when girls were around. One time a friend dared me to set light to the bonfire the local scout troop had built for Guy Fawkes. I think someone had put petrol on it because the pile of wood exploded, setting light to everything near by and nearly killing a punk glue sniffer, called Harold, who was hiding in the bushes.
By some miracle I made it through school with enough qualifications to get to university in Reading, where I studied Film and Drama, went on demonstrations, had my heart broken at least twice and I wrote my first play.
After uni, I struggled a bit before I fell in with a crowd of theatre artists and became a founding member and the Artistic Director of KAOS Theatre. KAOS went on to win some awards, travel the world and I wrote a few more plays and adaptations. My writing included THE FANTASTICAL ADVENTURES OF LEONARDO DA VINCI (a commission for the International Festival of Perth, Western Australia), RENAISSANCE (a Millennium Award Winner), THIRST, ALICE, CALIGULA, SWING and an adaptation of Bulgakov’s THE MASTER & MARGARITA (nominated for the best production on the Dublin Fringe and an Edinburgh Fringe First).
Not only did I write but I also directed much of the work. Directing included THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (Winner of The Stage Award, Best Ensemble, Time Out Critics Choice) VOLPONE (Nominated for The Stage Award, Best Ensemble), TITUS ANDRONICUS and RICHARD III (nominated for a Manchester Evening News Award).
Somehow, and I have no real idea how I managed to pull it off, I made two feature films. The first, MINE, is about two journalists and their Serbian Militia guides stuck in a Yugoslav minefield. Dark and brooding, MINE was selected as a breakthrough movie for LUFF 2007. My second film is UNARMED BUT DANGEROUS), an ultra violent and controversial flick about a short armed Kung Fu master battling brutal East End Gangsters in an attempt to get his daughter back. The movie stars the Thalidomide actor Mat Fraser, Frank Harper (LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS, THIS IS ENGLAND) and Faye Tozer (of Steps fame). It was produced by Terry Stone (RISE OF THE FOOT SOLDIERS and ROLLING WITH THE NINES). You can find it on DVD in all the usual outlets.
In between making my two films I was the ghost writer to an award winning ‘gay for pay’ male sex worker. And then I got fired because I thought the truth about his life was more interesting than the fiction he wished to peddle. The book that came out was called ‘What Women Want’ – or something like that.
After doing all this I went to Birbeck College, University Of London, to do a Creative Writing MA, which I’m please to say I got.
I have just finished writing my first novel, HEAVEN SENT, and am now working on a couple of others.
I read my work regularly at London’s hippest literary salon The Book Club Boutique, deep in the heart of Soho.
I live a fairly quiet life in the countryside just north of London, with my wife and three children.