Anthony McGowan was born in Manchester in 1965. Educated at a Catholic comprehensive, he won't say that Conor's schooldays are exactly based on his own but it was certainly written from experience. Before turning to writing full time, Anthony has worked as a nightclub bouncer, an Open University philosophy tutor, a cinema critic and a speechwriter in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. He had his first novel for adults, Stag Hunt, published by Hodder in March 2004. He is married to Rebecca Campbell, a fashion designer and novelist, and they have two small children. Hellbent has been shortlisted for the 2006 Branford Boase Award.