Victoria L. Humphreys was born in Surrey, but now lives in Dorset. She has a PhD in creative writing from the University of Southampton, and has also studied at the University of Ulster, the University of Surrey, and the Moscow State Institute for International Relations. Not the Work of an Ordinary Boy was inspired by a newspaper article about the skeletal remains of a World War Two carrier pigeon found in a chimney. Attached to the pigeon's leg bone was a canister containing a coded message. Since then, she has been fascinated by the war-time flights of these intelligent creatures and the secret messages they once delivered.