Born just a decent discus-throw from the Olympic Stadium in London, Michael’s literary journey was unorthodox to say the least. A mathematics graduate, he started his working life as a computer programmer. He then taught computer science at Portsmouth University for 20 years and spent a further 5 years as a software quality assurance consultant with IBM … before waving it all goodbye to become – at the age of 47 – a full-time children’s author.
Fast forward twenty – ahem – or so years and he now has around eighty books to his credit. In terms of fiction, they range from illustrated books such as the evergreen favourites Ridiculous! and Lazy Ozzie through best-selling junior fiction series Angels FC to award-winning novels such as Going Straight.(winner of France’s prestigious Prix Des Incorruptibles), the Bear Kingdom trilogy (Birmingham Imagines Book Award) and the Carnegie Medal-nominated Weirdo’s War.
On the factual side, Michael’s top titles Flaming Olympics and Wicked World Cup have had almost as many regenerations as Dr Who: FO was published in its 6th edition for the Rio Olympics in 2016 and Scholastic will be publishing the 6th version of WWC to coincide with the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Away from the printed page, Michael has scripted over 100 radio programmes for BBC Education, covering topic areas as diverse as English, Mathematics, Drama, History and Religious Studies. His most recent projects have been programmes on Tudor Times, the Romans in Britain and – as part of the Beeb’s Shakespeare 400 celebrations – a 60-minute musical comedy, Shakespeare on Trial.
Turning to family matters, Michael & his wife Theresa have been married for 50 years. They have four children and three grandchildren.
In such spare time as all the above affords him, Michael plays flat-green bowls … occasionally successfully.