Jonathan Diack was educated at Edinburgh Academy and Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. His career in the armed services was undistinguished although he looks back fondly at his last posting in Malta where, as sub-lieutenant responsible for filing top secret signals, which rarely arrived, he had plenty of time for scuba diving. An equally unsuccessful spell in commerce ended when his business partner drank the profits of a restaurant in Hampshire. Staving off bankruptcy he took a job writing procedures for an oil company. The decision ultimately forged an international career as a freelance editor and author. Jonathan has three sons from his first marriage and an adopted daughter from his second. He lives near the Mekong River in a house surrounded by tropical gardens. An agreeable location, he says, for a writer.