Michael Hughes grew up in a small town in Northern Ireland. A graduate of Oxford, he also trained in theatre at the Jacques Lecoq School in Paris. He has worked for many years as an actor under the professional name Michael Colgan, and he also teaches creative writing. He lives in London with his wife, the acclaimed historian Tiffany Watt Smith, and their two children. His first novel, The Countenance Divine, was published by John Murray/Hachette UK in 2016.