Phil Earle was born, raised and schooled in Hull. His first job was as a care worker in a children's home, an experience that influenced the ideas behind Being Billy. He then trained as a drama therapist and worked in a therapeutic community in south London, caring for traumatized and abused adolescents. After a couple of years in the care sector, Phil chose the more sedate lifestyle of a bookseller, and now works in children's publishing. Phil lives in south-east London with his wife and children, but Hull will always be home.