Desmond Fforde has had a long and distinguished seafaring career. He is cousin of Jasper Fforde. In 1972, he married Catherine Rose Gordon-Cumming and they had three children: Guy, Francis and Briony. His wife, also an esteemed author, writes as Katie Fforde, and she is the sister of Jane Gordon-Cumming. Fforde lives with his family near Stroud, Gloucestershire, England.