Geoff Hill was born in 1971 and grew up in the Cotswolds. After a gap year working round Australia, he studied Psychology and Education at Cardiff University before qualifying as a teacher at Aberystwyth. During vacations, he worked as a counsellor and music co-ordinator at Round Lake Camp, Pennsylvania, USA, working with children with ADHD. Once qualified, he taught at a number of primary schools across Gloucestershire and Wiltshire and now is Year 6 teacher at St Paul's Primary, Chippenham.
In 2014, while his class were studying the Vikings, he despaired of ever finding a suitable fiction text and decided to write his own: Draugr was the result. "I'd always started writing books in the past but never found my way to the end. They just all petered out. With Draugr, for the first time I knew very quickly where the story was heading."
The story-writing was also cathartic and therapeutic: Geoff lost his father in a road accident in October 2014. "When you have no control over the world around you, it's immensely comforting to escape into a world where you do."
Draugr was intended to be a chilling ghost story, best told around a warm fire on a cold winter's night, with a killer twist. Geoff also wanted there to be plenty of authentic historical detail woven into the narrative for his class to discover: details of the Berserkers' cult and ship-building, for example.
The following summer he realised that the characters of Draugr, particularly Gunnhild Lashtongue, had more to say. The sequel, Backahast, followed. This time, it was a supernatural mystery, investigating the Bog Bodies of Denmark. "My mum, a former headteacher, was horrified at the bloodshed in Draugr and thought it far too violent for my class. However, when I first showed the pupils the opening of Backahast, their first complaint was: 'You haven't killed anyone yet!'"
Sadly, Geoff's mother contracted cancer in the autumn of 2015 and passed away peacefully before Christmas. In response, Geoff retreated to the word processor again, to produce his most ambitious work yet, Huldra. This time, it was to be a war story.
"The class were given a History tour of Chippenham and learned that Alfred the Great won a mighty victory here against the Vikings. To my shame, I'd had no idea. I thought that it would be nice to have a trilogy. However, it's all clearly still far from over..."
Geoff lives with his wife and son and Millie the cat.