M H Baylis's picture

M H Baylis

Matthew Baylis also known as M.H. Baylis and Matt Baylis was born in Nottingham in 1971, and grew up in Southport, Merseyside.

His chief literary influences were, he says, Coronation Street and National Geographic magazine. The soap opera gave him a love of stories, particularly stories about real people in very specific times and places. National Geographic taught him to see the whole world, near and far, as an exotic tribe.

His love of both has taken him to some interesting places: after a spell as a storyliner on 'EastEnders', he set up soap operas in Cambodia and Kenya, and spent time on the remote Pacific island of Tanna, Vanuatu. He is also the only British scriptwriter ever to have had a film shown at the Pyongyang International Film Festival. He speaks Bislama pidgin badly, but not as badly as he speaks Romany.

He writes a daily tv review column in the Daily Express, and he lives in Haringey, the London borough so beloved of his fictional hero, Rex Tracey. He would quite like to have been a Dean Martin style club crooner, but really, his only great ambition was to write crime novels. Which he does.

His all-time favourite authors are : Emanuel Litvinoff, Simon Brett, Evelyn Waugh and John le Carre. But if he was confined to the last five years, he'd choose Anya Lipska, Louise Millar, Charles Cummings and Oliver Harris.

If he was stranded on a desert island, he'd require the complete works of all the above, plus every episode of Hill Street Blues, Cagney and Lacey, Minder and Brookside on dvd.