Thank you for visiting my website. You'll find out a bit about me, and if you haven't read any of my books, you might be tempted to try one.


Coming soon...

Welcome to Nowhere

Last November, I visited Jordan, and spent some time working in Azraq and Za'atari refugee camps. (See the News page for more details.) I have since written a novel about a Syrian family caught up in the terrible war afflicting their country. Its title is Welcome to Nowhere, and it will be published by Macmillan in January 2017.

The civil war in Syria, which has brought destruction to all parts of that ancient and beautiful country, began in March 2011, when a few schoolboys in the southern city of Daraa wrote a slogan on the wall of their school. It read: The people want the regime to change.

Welcome to Nowhere follows the lives of twelve year old Omar and his brother and sisters. Omar doesn't care about politics. He wants to be a successful businessman who will take the world by storm. His clever older brother Musa, on the other hand, is desperate to play his part in freeing Syria from oppression.

When the bombs start to fall, Omar and his family have to flee with only what they can carry. As the shadow of war follows them, they have no other choice but to make the dangerous journey to escape their homeland altogether.

But where do you go when you can't go home?





two more titles with great new covers

Crusade and The Garbage King join my other titles reissued in new covers. I hope you like them as much as I do.

Visit their book pages to find out more.

Ethiopian children listening to a storyteller.  Illustration by Eric Robson

Ethiopian children listening to a storyteller.  Illustration by Eric Robson

the ethiopian story collecting project

The Ethiopian Story Collecting Project has an exciting new development. The Ducere Foundation is publishing two books of the stories I collected and retold, for use by Ethiopian schoolchildren. Read more about the project on the Ethiopian Story Collecting Page.

Our two websites, are still attracting hundreds of visitors not only in Ethiopia but around the world.

You can read my account of my travels throughout Ethiopia to collect stories in The Lure of the Honey Bird, published by Birlinn Polygon.

When I say to a parent, ‘Read to a child,’ I don’t want it to sound like medicine. I want it to sound like chocolate.