Prominent themes in Jon Harley’s writing include:

  • Bi/Trans issues Jon has been out as bi since the 1980s and has always written bi characters in his fiction, as well as producing a large body of non-fiction writing about bisexual issues and gender and sexuality more generally. Jon is particularly interested in promoting realistic portrayals of bisexual and trans people.
  • Yorkshire and north-east England. It helps that Yorkshire is the biggest and most diverse county. Jon also fell in love with Newcastle and now lives there, within sight of the first five bridges. He enjoys writing stories with vividly drawn settings.
  • Maps and Psychogeography Jon has a lifelong interest in maps and charts of all kinds, and for many years was a member of the British Cartographic Society. He is particularly interested in human geography and how people and places both affect each other. This ties in closely with writing a strong sense of place.
  • Magic realism He is fascinated by the idea of magic(al) realism and how characters would react to the impossible.
  • Questions and Answers In the 1990s Jon was the editor of the first ever Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on bisexuality, among other FAQs. He is still interested in the format, writing prolifically on the Quora platform throughout the 2010s.


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.

So this is a “homepage”?

Jon was one of the first people in the world to see the World Wide Web via the Mosaic browser in 1993, and created his first personal “home page” in 1994 soon after setting up his employer’s very first website (though the earliest copy that saved was from 1996). This page is just the latest iteration of personal web pages going back almost 30 years.


Jon Harley is an enthusiastic amateur at photography. He likes to take photos on his travels, and has a particular interest in snapping people going about their day (in the manner of Cartier-Bresson). He also likes to turn his snaps into digital art occasionally, but strives for something more original than off-the-shelf filters and effects. And of course, every photo tells a story.

Social Media

Jon Harley has been using social media since 1986 (emails and online forums, including a collaborative writing forum from 1987 onwards). He was an active participant on Usenet from 1989 onwards where he was known worldwide as the editor of the FAQ. From 2001 he was also on LiveJournal, keeping a limited access, friends-oriented journal. He has been publishing blogs, essays and travel journals on the public web from around 2004 to the present.


Mostly prose writing, often thoughts on current events and personal reflections. Also some movie/TV reviews and quotes, poems and favourite images. Running since 2014, it’s more mixed-media than the traditional blog format.

Follow via the RSS feed.


A substack (essentially a weekly column that you get by email) focussing on the problems of writing a sequel novel and lessons learnt writing the previous novel. Free to read.

Subscribe using the button on the intro page.


Shorter thoughts and interaction with the community. (Mastodon is like Twitter but with no adverts and complete control over what you do and don’t want to read.) Jon joined the alternative social network in 2018.



Well over 2,000 answers on questions from tech to sex and maps to academia.


Snapshots, mostly landscape and quirky stuff seen around the city. Very few selfies and even fewer food photos!



Networking with IT career colleagues.

Get in touch

Or subscribe to my weekly email column...