Since the age of six, when a story of mine about the sinking of the Titanic appeared in my school magazine, I have only wanted to write. Born in Sydney in 1966, I grew up in Guyra in rural New South Wales. After six years in a boys' boarding school I worked as a bank teller before hitchhiking 3000 km around Europe. From 1987 to 1998 I lived in Canberra, where I studied writing at the University of Canberra. In 1999 I moved to Melbourne, and as part of a Creative Writing PhD at the University of Melbourne I wrote my first published novel, The Zookeeper's War (2007).
Cleaner, waiter, barman, life model, taxi driver, public servant, university tutor and book reviewer are some of the jobs with which I have supported my writing.
In 2008 The Zookeeper's War won the inaugural Australian Prime Minister's Award for fiction, then worth $100,000. The novel was published in the UK and Ireland and translated into Spanish.
In 2013 I became a parent and moved to Port Fairy in the southwest of Victoria. I now live in Warrnambool and divide my time between writing, planning a small eco-house in the nearby town of Koroit, and co-parenting an exuberant and charismatic 7-year-old son with non-verbal autism.