I am Canadian and live in north London. Currently I am working on a new book based in 1930’s Shanghai and with a team on an opera based on Olga’s Story, the story of my grandmother’s experience in the Russian Revolution.
My first story was published in the Guardian when I was twenty-one. I went on to specialise in writing on environment and architecture. In 1979, I moved to Hong Kong where I reported for the South China Morning Post, Asian Wall Street Journal and UK newspapers and magazines.
Out of that stay came the commission to write Hongkong Bank, the inside story of building Norman Foster’s ground-breaking headquarters for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank. This was followed by Docklands in 1993.
By this time perestroika had come to Russia, and I was free to travel to Siberia to uncover the truth of my grandmother’s role in the Russian revolution. Researching and writing Olga’s Story, took ten years.
Running the Show, Governors of the British Empire, was inspired by the discovering of an 1879 questionnaire that revealed the extraordinary variety of conditions under which British governors and their families lived around the world.