Clive Matthew-Wilson was born in 1956 in Wellington, New Zealand, the son of a wealthy local businessman. Despite being largely educated at exclusive private schools, Matthew-Wilson outraged his parents by leaving school at 15. After several years traveling, he became a motor mechanic. He ended up running his own garage before becoming bored and experimenting with a number of careers, including advertising, songwriting, jewellery, computers, publishing and public relations. He eventually became a professional writer, whose published works include The Information Effect, The Turners & Growers Natural Foods Cookbook & The Dog & Lemon Guide.