Jon Harley was born in Yorkshire in early 1968, and was a witness to the historic strikes in France in May 1968, though he can’t remember anything about it. He grew up in Yorkshire and Teesdale, and first lived in Newcastle upon Tyne in the late 1980s as a postgraduate student. At university Jon did the lighting design/operation for many student theatre productions, laid out the first edition of the student newspaper ever to be produced on a computer, and was elected chair of the student union council. Since then he has mostly worked in the software industry. Nowadays he is a member of the Society of Authors and the Literary & Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne.
Writing Life He started writing stories and novels at the age of 9, and hasn't stopped since. For A-level English, he included a portfolio of his poems for extra credit and received a special commendation from the external examiner. At the age of 50 he started an MA degree in Creative Writing at Newcastle University, which was awarded in 2020 (with a Distinction).
Professional Life Jon has had a long career in IT, starting with a BSc in Software Engineering (University of Birmingham, 1989) and a PhD in Computing Science (Newcastle University, 1993). He has worked internationally as a freelance and founded his own software company in 2009. He now works for a global corporation.
Personal Life He has lived with his now-husband Steve since the late 1990s and they had a civil partnership ceremony in Yorkshire in 2006. Jon has had several dogs, all labradors. He goes to football matches at St. James’ Park and follows road race cycling on TV. He has been vegetarian and a Buddhist since his late 20s, but is not aligned to any one school of Buddhism.
Volunteering He is a director of the OpenStreetMap UK Community Interest Company (CIC) and regularly does volunteer work for other charities, most recently Northern Pride and the Ouseburn Trust.
Interesting Facts He has worked as a guide at a stately home and appeared as an extra on a BBC TV series, as well as co-directing a film that won a prize at an amateur film festival. He has visited around 30 countries, and has crossed the equator twice but the international date line only once. He once stayed as a guest in a Buddhist monastery on top of a remote mountain in Japan.
Further biographical details and print resolution photos for press use are available upon enquiry by email.