I was born in Belfast during the Troubles and grew up in Springfield Park, the last working class religiously mixed area of west Belfast. One of three children, my dad was a bus driver, my mum a shop assistant in Royal Avenue’s C&A department store.
Reading and writing was my escape from Northern Ireland's smothering political unrest. As a boy, I loved Sherlock Holmes, Ian Fleming and Tolkien; books I still love today. I left school at 16 and trained as a chef at Rupert Stanley College.
With youthful dreams of a new life, I left Belfast for London in 1985 with £50 in one pocket and a dog-eared copy of Stephen King's The Stand in the other. I jobbed in bars and restaurants and later worked as a writer in the software industry.
I've played rugby for Brighton and in 2009 was awarded the Player of the Year for the veteran's team - one of the proudest moments of my life. I remember waking up the following morning with tears in my eyes, and a much deserved monstrous hangover.
I love genre fiction, and literary too, providing the writer has graced their pages with an engaging story. I read and listen to books as much as I can in-between my day job and novel writing. Before lockdown I had spent a year learning to box, which was no mean feat for someone who is no longer a young man.
In 2017 my first novel, an historical urban fantasy called SLEEPER, was published by the Dome Press under the partial pseudonym, JD Fennell. The second in the series, SLEEPER: THE RED STORM, was published in 2018, and was shortlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize. In February 2021, writing as David Fennell, my crime debut, THE ART OF DEATH, will be published by Bonnier Books.
In my day job I work in CyberSecurity and live in Brighton with my partner and our two hounds.