After graduating from Oxford University with a degree in French and German and with an MBA from the INSEAD business school in France, I spent fifteen years criss-crossing Europe and the Middle East for an American bank. I was based in the USA, London and Greece, where I restored an old stone house on the island of Evia, which the family goes back to every year.

My fortieth birthday present to myself was to quit salaried employment. The main reason was to write full time. I reviewed the modern French novel and science fiction for the TLS. Published works include three comic novels - Sail or Return, The Monogamist, Thanks, Eddie! - and the best-selling guide to European cultures Mind Your Manners, currently available in twenty languages. Management Mole was about going back as a temp in the back offices of the kind of organisation I used to manage.

Meanwhile I tried my hand at various entrepreneurial ventures. An attempt to establish a franchised chain of baked potato restaurants in Moscow came to an end when the Russian Mafia became interested. I had more success with INBIO Ltd, which imported Russian biotechnology for environmental protection and with a project to control the spread of water weed on Tanzania's Lake Victoria. These ventures resulted in books such as It's All Greek To Me! and I was a Potato Oligarch.

I love to travel, especially around the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Journeys have inspired The Sultan's Organ and The Hero of Negropont.

When not at the laptop I sing and play the baglama, a miniature bouzouki, with a Greek band in London.