I'm a British journalist and author. I left London in 1991, aged 24, with a rucksack and vague plans to try my luck as a foreign correspondent in Russia. I've lived abroad ever since, in Moscow, Tbilisi, Nairobi, Singapore, Bangkok, and for the past 7 years, in Johannesburg. I'm now married with 3 teenaged boys. I used to work as a freelancer for a variety of outlets including The Guardian and The Economist, but since 1994, I've been employed by BBC News.
I'm not keen on the phrase "war correspondent" but I seem to have spent an awful lot of the past 25 years covering conflicts, from the parliamentary rebellion in Moscow in 1993, to Chechnya, Azerbaijan, Abkhazia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Burma, Sudan, DRCongo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Cote D'Ivoire, CAR, Burundi, Uganda, Libya and elsewhere.
The Mayor of Mogadishu is my first book, and it came to life in part because I've been lucky enough to spend a good deal of time in Somalia since 2000, and in part because I happened to meet an unusual man named Tarzan, who agreed to tell me his story.
I've always enjoyed books that give a sense of the arc of a person's whole life, and i wanted to reach back to the years when Mogadishu was one of Africa's loveliest cities and to tell the story of Somalia's collapse - and rebirth - through the eyes of one family.
I hope you enjoy the book. It's been a great pleasure researching and writing it.