What do you like best about your job?
I get to write every day and seeing as that’s one of things I’m actually pretty good at – I feel privileged. Some of things I have to write about can obviously be quite sensitive, complex and even controversial at times, but the challenge is how to make these interesting and as easy as possible for people to understand, even if you might not understand them fully yourself…at first.
Name one thing you couldn’t live without?
My trusty iPod. It must be nearly 15 years old now, but contains my entire CD collection. I’m getting nervous just thinking about life without it.
Which three people, living or dead, would you invite to a dinner party and why?
Ryan Adams (not Bryan), the American rock/country/folk/insert every other genre singer songwriter. He’s a genius in my opinion and I even named my second son after him.
My great uncle Cronon McCarty from West Virginia, USA. He landed on Utah beach in Normandy just a few days after D Day. I met him in 1994 when he went back to France with my grandad to celebrate the 50th anniversary. He died a few years ago but he was the kindest, gentlest person I’ve ever known. And a hero.
Ricky Gervais. Another genius and my favourite comedian – his stand up is brutal, honest and hilarious. He liked one of my tweets once too.
Who had the greatest influence on your career?
My secondary school English teacher Mr Golding. I always looked forward to his lessons and finding out what creative writing we were going to or what book we were going to study next. He encouraged and nurtured the wordsmith in me for sure.
If you could have any superpower what would it be?
To be able to type quicker. Word Processor Man.
What talent do you wish you had?
I wish I could paint. I can’t even draw a pair of curtains…
Where is your favourite place in the world?
The Isle of Arran in Scotland. I named my first son after it.
What’s your favourite book?
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. The first book I read from cover to cover on my own and found incredibly hard to put down.
If you could change one thing about where you work what would it be?
That we didn’t struggle as much to recruit. I see the pressure it puts on our services and staff.