James Barrie was born in Beverley in East Yorkshire. He studied civil engineering and architecture at Leeds University before spending five years overseas, teaching English and working as a technical editor.
Since moving to York in 1999, he has worked as an English language teacher, bridge inspector, stay-at-home-dad, and civil engineer. He has also done courses in creative writing at York College, York University and the Arvon Foundation.
The First of Nine was his first published novel. It is based on the twelve years he spent living in South Bank and, later, in Clementhorpe, York. The sequel: Rear Garden: The Cat Who Knew Too Much was published in March 2018. He is currently working on the third book in the series Feline Sleuth, in The Scent of the City, and also attempting to complete The Turkish Life of Loti, a historical novel set in Istanbul/Constantinople that was started in 2001 and is still not finished.
He is married, and has two children and three cats. Theodore was the fourth cat.