Bob fowke by himself

‘No wonder I faked the accident with the bull in Pamplona. How did I get away with that?¬† I was hardly likely to run with the bulls in Pamplona – and the bulls should have suspected trickery. Perhaps they let me get away with it because they too suspected that I was other than who I appeared to be…’

I was born in 1950, the youngest of four children. Our father was a ship’s captain who became a Church-of-England vicar after retiring from the sea and our mother was of the Greg family whose Quarry Bank Mill is now a National Trust property. I was educated first at Marlborough College and then at Brighton and Hove Grammar School. After a period of wandering, I ended up at Taunton College of Art and there I learned something of the craft of illustration under John Raynes.

Then the gods smiled. At practically my first footstep into the adult world, I was taken on by Young Artists, a remarkable illustrators’ agency of that period, and for ten years I worked as a free-lance illustrator, mainly illustrating book covers for prominent writers of science-fantasy and science-fiction¬† such as Angela Carter, Philip K Dick, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Edgar Rice Burroughs and H.P. Lovecraft.

After an interregnum when I travelled the world for Blackwell’s of Oxford, I returned to creative work in the late 1980s. I have since written, or been involved in writing, around a hundred books mostly published by major commercial publishers and have won prizes for children’s non-fiction titles.

Nowadays I continue to write and occasionally paint while also helping other writers through YouCaxton Publications, which I run with my friend and colleague, Robert Branton.

On a personal level, I live in Shropshire with my dear wife and I have two wonderful daughters and three wonderful granddaughters and with my wife’s descendants there’s a lovely son and two more lovely granddaughters – the X chromosome runs rampant. I’ve been bewitched and becalmed for longer than I care to think about – but I’ve no desire to wake up.