I grew up living on some of the finest council estates in Merseyside. "Finest" being another word for "roughest" in this context. Two of my favourites were Speke (close the airport, that is should still be called Speke Airport in my opinion - and Leasowe, which was great for people who lived there... not so much for outsiders). I now live in a nice house with my wife Emma, and our two daughters.
I'm half-Italian, on my dad's side. My nan was pregnant with my dad when she came to Liverpool in 1958. She didn't speak the language and taught herself English when she arrived.
I wasn't a great student. Left school with a few GCSEs, mostly in subjects like Drama and Music. I was more interested in sport and acting than schoolwork. It wasn't until I was in my late twenties that I decided to try and get into university. I studied psychology and criminology.
I've performed as Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, the Emcee in Cabaret, and in various other musicals. There's still a part of me that thinks I could be a West End star. Despite all evidence to the contrary.
I've played football for over twenty years now. My Sunday League days came to an end a couple of years ago, but I still play fairly regularly. I'm goalkeeper for the England Crime Writer's Team, who beat Scotland 7-1 a few months ago.
Before the age of 28, the only story I had a part in the writing of, was a jokey nativity play with a school friend. It contained the "three wise scousers", who brought baby Jesus a gold chain, a can of Lynx bodyspray, and the Mayor.
I was an avid reader as a child. I would spend hours in my local library, going through every book I could get my hands on. I wouldn't want to try and work out how many novels I read back then. My favourites were Enid Blyton and Brian Jacques.
I was captain of the North team, in an episode of North vs South - an old Saturday morning ITV kids music quiz show. Hosted by Dominik Diamond. Prizes on offer were a pager or a Nintendo 64. The entire episode is on YouTube. Spoiler - We lost.
The first 'adult' novel I read was Stephen King's The Stand, when I was around 11 years old. I had pestered my dad for a long time before he allowed me to read it. Probably just to shut me up. It is still my favourite book to this day.
My musical tastes are a little different than most blokes in their early thirties. My dad brought me up on a diet of Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Motown, Tears for Fears, and David Bowie. About the only contemporary band I like is Muse.