Colin Cotterill (born 2 October 1952) is a London-born teacher, crime writer and cartoonist. Cotterill has dual English and Australian citizenship; however, he currently lives in Southeast Asia, where he writes the award-winning Dr. Siri mystery series set in the People's Democratic Republic of Laos.
Colin Cotterill was born in London and trained as a teacher and set off on a world tour that didn't ever come to an end. He worked as a Physical Education instructor in Israel, a primary school teacher in Australia, a counselor for educationally handicapped adults in the US, and a university lecturer in Japan. But the greater part of his latter years has been spent in Southeast Asia. Colin has taught and trained teachers in Thailand and on the Burmese border. He spent several years in Laos, initially with UNESCO and wrote and produced a forty-programme language teaching series; English By Accident, for Thai national television.
Ten years ago, Colin became involved in child protection in the region and set up an NGO in Phuket which he ran for the first two years. After two more years of study in child abuse issues, and one more stint in Phuket, he moved on to ECPAT, an international organization combating child prostitution and pornography. He established their training program for caregivers.
All the while, Colin continued with his two other passions; cartooning and writing. He contributed regular columns for the Bangkok Post but had little time to write. It wasn't until his work with trafficked children that he found himself sufficiently stimulated to put together his first novel, The Night Bastard (Suk's Editions. 2000).
The reaction to that first attempt was so positive that Colin decided to take time off and write full-time. Since October 2001 he has written nine more novels. Two of these are child-protection based: Evil in the Land Without (Asia Books December 03), and Pool and Its Role in Asian Communism (Asia Books, Dec 05). These were followed by The Coroner’s Lunch (Soho Press. Dec 04), Thirty Three Teeth (Aug 05), Disco for the Departed (Aug 06), Anarchy and Old Dogs (Aug 07), and Curse of the Pogo Stick (Aug 08), The Merry Misogynist (Aug 09), Love Songs from a Shallow Grave (Aug 10) these last seven are set in Laos in the 1970’s.
On June 15 2009 Colin Cotterill received the Crime Writers' Association Dagger in the Library award for being "the author of crime fiction whose work is currently giving the greatest enjoyment to library users".
When the Lao books gained in popularity, Cotterill set up a project to send books to Lao children and sponsor trainee teachers. The Books for Laos programme elicits support from fans of the books and is administered purely on a voluntary basis.
Since 1990, Colin has been a regular cartoonist for national publications. A Thai language translation of his cartoon scrapbook, Ethel and Joan Go to Phuket (Matichon May 04) and weekly social cartoons in the Nation newspaper, set him back onto the cartoon trail in 2004. On 4 April 2004, an illustrated bilingual column ‘cycle logical’ was launched in Matichon’s popular weekly news magazine. These have been published in book form.
Colin is married and lives in a fishing community on the Gulf of Siam with his wife, Jessi, and ever-expanding pack of very annoying dogs.