After failing to make the grade as a professional football player, he spent much of his early years traveling, hitch-hiking around Europe and North Africa and then heading to Asia.
His experiences in Bangkok and India later inspired his thriller VENOM, and his adventures in the jungles of the Golden Triangle of Burma and Laos were also filed away for later, the basis of his OPIUM series about the underworld drug trade.
He later moved to Australia and worked in advertising, before moving to Sydney where he freelanced for most of Australia’s leading newspapers and magazines, as well as working in radio and television.
He started publishing in 1984, mostly humor and young adult fiction, but with the publication of VENOM in 1990, he became a full time novelist.
He has published over 40 books in print. HAREM was an enormous bestseller in Germany and THE NAKED HUSBAND was ranked #9 in Australia on its release. AZTEC stayed on the bestseller lists in Mexico for four months. He is a bestseller in Europe and his work has sold into translation in 23 countries: Brazil, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech republic, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Indonesia, Korea, Macedonia, Montenegro, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey.
He lived for many years in the beautiful Margaret River region in WA, and helped raise two beautiful daughters with his late wife, Helen. While writing, he also worked in the volunteer ambulance service for over 13 years His marriage ended in tragic circumstances, a story he has told in ‘The Naked Husband,’ and its non-fiction sequel, ‘The Year We Seized the Day,’ written with a writing partner, Elizabeth Best.
He travels regularly to research his novels and his quest for authenticity has led him to run with the bulls in Pamplona, pursue tornadoes across Oklahoma and black witches across Mexico, go cage shark diving in South Africa and get tear gassed in a riot in La Paz. He also completed a nine hundred kilometre walk of the camino in Spain.
His likens his fiction most closely to Ken Follett – books with romance and high adventure, drawn from many periods of history.
VENOM (Hodder & Stoughton UK, 1989, Coronet 1990. Released online 2012)
DEATHWATCH (Hodder & Stoughton UK 1991, Coronet 1992. Re-released as CORRIGAN’S RUN 2012)
HAREM (Hodder & Stoughton UK 1992, Coronet 1993. As The Sultan’s Harem by Crown, New York, 2004. Released online as HAREM and SERAGLIO 2012)
FURY (Hodder & Stoughton UK 1993, Coronet 1994. Re-released as the JERUSALEM series 2012)
OPIUM (Hodder Headline UK 1994, Coronet 1995. Released as part of the OPIUM series, 2013)
TRIAD (Hodder Headline UK 1995, Coronet 1996. Released as part of the OPIUM series, 2013)
DANGEROUS (Hodder Headline UK 1996, Coronet 1997. Re-released as WARBABY 2013)
DISAPPEARED (Hodder Headline UK 1997, Coronet 1998 Released online 2013.)
ROUGH JUSTICE (Hodder Headline UK 1999, Coronet 1999) A Madeleine Fox novel
THE CERTAINTY OF DOING EVIL (Hodder Headline UK 2000, Coronet 2001) A Madeleine Fox novel
WHEN WE WERE GODS (Crown, New York & Random House Australia 2000, Bantam Australia 2002 Re-released as CLEOPATRA 2013)
AZTEC (Random House Australia, 2001, Bantam 2002, published as FEATHERED SERPENT in the US by Crown New York, 2002, Bantam New York 2003 Released as AZTEC online 2013)
ANASTASIA (Bantam Australia, 2003 Released online 2013)
MY BEAUTIFUL SPY (Bantam Australia 2005, Re-released as ISTANBUL 2013)
PEARLS (Bantam Australia 2006, Released online 2013)
STAIRWAY TO THE MOON (Bantam Australia 2007)
ISABELLA (CoolGus 2013)
AS COLIN BOWLES
THE YEAR WE SEIZED THE DAY co-authored with Elizabeth Best (Allen & Unwin 2007, Bolinda Audio Books 2007.)
ORIGINALLY AS MARK D’ARBANVILLE
THE NAKED HUSBAND (Bantam Australia 2004 – rereleased 2012 as Colin Falconer)
also as COLIN BOWLES
young adult fiction:
GOING OFF (Penguin, Melbourne 1999)
WASTED (Penguin, Melbourne, 2001)
NIGHTS IN THE SUN (Penguin, Melbourne, Sept 2003: winner Premier’s Award for YA fiction, shortlisted for VPA and QPA awards, re-released under Colin Falconer with CoolGus 2012)
HEROES AND DRAGONS (Heinemann, Melbourne, 1995)
THE WITCH OF ENDOR STREET (Heinemann, Melbourne, 1996)