Ken Paterson was born in Scotland, grew up in Bath, and now lives in Greater Manchester. He started writing grammar books while he was director of English language teaching at the University of Westminster in London.
One evening, as he was walking home through Regent’s Park after a long day at the office, he stopped thinking about noun phrases and relative clauses and remembered instead a moment spent in a small square in Cordoba, where he had a vision of Christian, Jewish and Islamic scholars meeting in the shade of the trees a millennium before, during the brief golden age of tolerance in Muslim-occupied Spain. What if this vision had been captured in some way, as a painting, perhaps? Would it have been censored or hidden in the dangerous years to come? Could it still be in existence somewhere, with a message for our present age?
His first novel, The Story of the Cloth, provided the answers.