Richard Skinner is the author of three novels published by Faber: The Red Dancer: The Life and Times of Mata Hari (2002; ISBN 9780571209347), The Velvet Gentleman (2008; ISBN 9782746711198) and The Mirror (forthcoming). He is also the author of Fiction Writing: The Essential Guide to Writing a Novel (Hale, 2009; ISBN 9780709086468). His poems have appeared in a variety of magazines including Staple, Brand and Magma. Having taught Life & Creative Writing for many years at Goldsmiths’ College, he is now Director of the Fiction Programme at the Faber Academy. He lives in London.