I live in Hertfordshire, England, where I write about popular philosophy in modern life. I have a particular interest in the way people are rejecting mainstream religion and creating their own philosophies from the bottom up. These ideas cannot really be described as theological in the way that western religions are, they seem closer to eastern mysticism, such Buddhism or Zen, while being dressed up with symbolism drawn from folkloric sources. However, I particularly cringe at all this create miracle healing in your life stuff. A better approach might be to learn about ourselves and face up to our difficulties. I know that sounds harsh but we don’t acheive our potential by hiding from ourselves.

I try to bring an intellectual rigour to this field instead of merely accepting any old idea. Take, for example, the incredibly fluffy statement I once heard someone say with all seriousness, ‘everything has an opposite.’ No it doesn’t. What’s the opposite of a football? So not everything philosophical sounding is valid and we might all benefit from a bit more thought. However, despite all this, I feel that modern life is lacking in meaning. Stealing some of the dressing from religion, while understanding how these perspectives work, might just give us value and understanding of ourselves, each other and our place in the universe. The important thing to remember is to always keep your bullshit detectors running.

My first novel, The Hidden Masters and the Unspeakable Evil is available as a paperback and an ebook. I’m currently working on a travelogue, which is distracting me from working on the second novel, about an end of the world religious cult, Morris Men practised in the martial arts and the accidental destruction of a literary festival.

I’ve raised the money for the new garden fence but I’m now intimidated by the sheer number of things that have fallen apart, rotted away or generally disintegrated. This seems to apply to more than my garden.