The last time I set foot in Bristol Grammar School was the day I collected my A Level results in 2001. Since then, I’ve backpacked through trouble-spots including Sierra Leone and the Congo to research my fiction – and exposed many a rogue in my day-job as a BBC investigative journalist. But little could be as daunting as facing 150 inquisitive and exacting BGS sixth formers… with only a microphone for protection.
It was lovely if (a little bit spooky) to be back at my alma mater. But then this was the place that encouraged me in my creative writing – and laid the historiographical bedrock I would call upon when writing my debut thriller Foretold by Thunder more than a decade on. The novel is partly about predicting the future – and given the sharp questioning I faced at the hands of the students, I certainly foresee a great journalistic career ahead for many of them too.