Photo by Caroline Forbes
I grew up in
Surrey, attended Cranleigh School and travelled for a year in Africa
before going to St Catharine's College, Cambridge, to read English.
Subsequently I did much
of the reading and research which I would eventually use in my books,
and wrote poetry, stories and plays by way of practice, while supporting
myself with part-time jobs, such as teaching, market research,
gardening, computer personnel etc. For five years I worked in London as
a researcher and then as an editor for a book-packaging company.
My first book was a 'theological
thriller' entitled The Serpent's Circle (UK Macmillan, 1985;
Coronet, 1986, and US St Martin's Press, 1985; Warner, 1986).
My second was a novel about
an autistic child, The Rapture (Macmillan, 1986; Coronet, 1986).
Mercurius; or, the
Marriage of Heaven and Earth, a partly fictional account of the
Great Work of alchemy, was published by Macmillan in 1990 and re-issued
by The Squeeze Press in 2008.
My first attempt at complete non-fiction was Daimonic Reality: A
Field Guide to the Otherworld (UK Viking, 1995; Penguin, 1996 and US
Penguin, 1995, 1996; re-issued by Pine Winds Press, Idyll Arbor, 2003)
which attempted to make sense of visions and apparitions by recourse to
Platonic philosophy, Jungian psychology, and the Romantic notion of
Philosophers' Secret Fire: A History of the Imagination (UK Penguin,
2002 and US Ivan R. Dee, 2003; re-issued by The Squeeze Press, 2009)
outlined an esoteric Western way of seeing the world which has been
2010, Rider published the rather ambitiously titled A Complete Guide
to the Soul which appeared a year later in the US as The Secret
Tradition of the Soul (Evolver Editions, an imprint of North
Truffle (Skylight Press, 2013) is a highly autobiographical,
blackish comedy set in the Home Counties of the 1960s.
The Good People (Strange
Attractor Press, 2017) is a modern fairytale and a sort of fictional
companion-volume to Daimonic Reality.
The Stormy Petrel (The
Squeeze Press, 2017) is a novel based on the life and work of the Danish
thinker Soren Kierkegaard whose writings have gripped me for years. My
four non-fiction books have been translated into Spanish and published
by Ediciones Atalanta.
At the same time as I was writing these, I was commissioned by BBC
television to write an adaptation of The Rapture; plus, I have written
pieces for such publications as The Guardian, Fortean Times,
Resurgence, the New Statesman
and the Independent on Sunday.
I'm often invited to give talks in the UK, in Spain and in America; and
I've taught post-graduate students at Schumacher College (Dartington).
I live in West Dorset.