James Barrie was born in Beverley in East Yorkshire and went to school in Pocklington. He studied civil engineering and architecture at Leeds University before spending five years overseas, teaching English and working as a technical editor; he didn’t have a television back then so read a lot of books.
Since moving to York in 1999, he has worked as an English language teacher, bridge inspector, stay-at-home-dad, civil engineer and (now) geotechnical engineer. He has also done courses in creative writing at York College, York University and the Arvon Foundation.
The First of Nine is his first published novel. It is based on the twelve years he spent living in South Bank and, later, in Clementhorpe, where The First of Nine is set. He is currently working on the sequel: Rear Garden. He is married, and has two children and (now) three cats.
Theodore was the fourth cat. He was the inspiration for The First of Nine and its planned sequels. In fact they came up with the story together one May morning in 2012. Sadly he didn’t hang around long enough to see himself in print.