I was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, but grew up on the Isle of Skye (I could speak some Gaelic when I was four), and in Paisley, outside Glasgow. I was a troubled teen and only applied myself in high school when someone said I couldn't do something. One time I was in the Principal's office for some forgotten reason, and he said I would never amount to anything. That annoyed me and I set out to prove him wrong—was he smart? 

Anyway, I went to St. Andrews University and did an Honours Degree in Geology. I worked in Zimbabwe, but there was a war on, so I moved to Alberta where I worked for twelve years in coal exploration, on the oil patch and for the Alberta Geological Survey mapping the rocks on the shores of Lake Athabasca. After backpacking round the world for a year and a mid-life crisis, I took up freelance writing in 1989 and moved out to Vancouver Island in 1991 to write full time. ​​

History inspires everything I write—from stories about dinosaurs and kids caught up in the chaos of war, to contemporary characters discovering forgotten family journals and trying to solve mysteries and recover stolen artifacts. As I write, I imagine myself in the time and place I've researched, after all, the past must have been just as exciting, confusing and complex to those who lived through it as our world is to us. My books appeal to all ages and are enjoyed by anyone who appreciates excitement, adventure and a good story.
Photo by Iain Wilson
Hard at work researching Written in Blood, Ghost Moon and Victorio's War at White Sands, New Mexico. The photograph for the cover of Ghost Moon was taken later in the day from the dunes in the background.
Interview
Thoughts on Books for Boys
Awards