Born 3/10/41 in Darlington UK.
After high school I completed anapprenticeship in laboratory animal technology at the Institute of Cancer Research (UK).
I joined up as a Regular Soldier RAMC 1961-1970 and served in Germany, Malaysia and Borneo as a military hygienist. In Germany I met my wife, Ingrid, to whom I was wed for 44 years before she sadly passed away in 2008. We have five children; two boys and three girls.
I was Reptile Keeper then Curator in Cotswold Wild life Park (Oxfordshire, UK) 1971-1980. During this time I organised the first International Herpetological Symposia and founded ASRA (Association for the Study of Reptilia and Amphibia). I was also one of the founder members of ABWAK (Association of British Wild Animal Keepers).
I was Director of Dudley Zoo 1980-1982.
I took up full time writing in 1984 and have written over 100 books including foreign translations into Dutch, German, Polish and Spanish. I emigrated from the UK to Australia in 1986 when I wrote a number of books for Paradise Press
In the early 1990's, I was a licensed snake-catcher for the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.
Most of my books are on the natural history and the care and breeding of various reptiles and amphibians. My first book was the care and Breeding of Goldfish (K&R Books, 1975). My largest book was Atlas of Snakes of the World (TFH Publications 1990). I have also translated a number of books from Dutch to English and German to English for English publication.
I have written a few books on tropical fish and aquarium keeping as well as a number of bird books. I have written numerous magazine articles and papers for various publications. I have written some books under pseudonym: names I have used include Byron Bjorn, Jo Cobb, John L. Corbett and Joseph B. Stilton.
My publishers include K&R Books, Paradise Press, David&Charles, TFH Publications, and Howell. Publishers of foreign editions include Bede Verlag and hispano Europea.
In 2000 I stopped writing full-time as I was beginning to lose my concentration. I live on a 13 acre property at Nanango, Queensland, Australia where I have a small olive grove. I have three dogs, some chickens,and some budgies in an aviary.