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 imagination.
The 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 largely neglected.
In 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 Atlantic Books).
The Savoy 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 Søren 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, Country Living, Fortean Times, Gnosis, Resurgence, the New Statesman and the Independent on Sunday. I have been invited a good deal 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.
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