Well, I started as a ‘Mad Man’ (as in the TV blockbuster about advertising set in Madison Avenue NY). After 6 years as an Account Executive I decided to take a break. I sailed the Atlantic from Gibraltar to Antigua crewing a yacht. On returning to the UK a friend asked if I wanted to make some cash working in the music business going on-tour with bands on the lighting crew rigging the shows. Relaxing in the pub after the last gig, another friend asked if I would become their lighting engineer and tour with his band. The next year was spent touring Europe, the Middle East and Zimbabwe. The manager of the Dubai Country Club asked if I could bring out some bands. For the next 3 years I booked the bands and looked after the lights and mic’s. After a break of 5 years I went back into the same advertising agency and took up where I’d left off.
I’ve now written two business books and working on my third. I’m a business coach on business start-ups and speak at the City of London Business Library as well as working with students at Surrey University.
I’ve also written a number of short stories. One Degree North is my first novel.
How would you introduce your books to someone that has yet to read them?
One Degree North is an entertainment. It’s a full-on thriller set in the mid-1960’set in Singapore. The tiny island of Singapore is one degree north of the equator. There’s a captivating crew of characters including some wonderfully powerful and talented women. The book is fiction but heavily grounded in the reality of the time.
How many books have you written? What are their titles?
Fast Track Your Business Writing Skills, Success before Start Up, Transform Your Speaking & Writing Business Skills (in progress now) and One Degree North.
One Degree South, the sequel, is in the planning and research stage.
What genre have you not yet written, but would like to try?
Historical fiction with a rich assortment of ne’er-do-wells, daring do’s, smugglers, wenches, troubadours, fun-loving criminals set in the 18th Century but written as if it is happening today.
What inspired you to start writing? What age did you start?
I started writing as an advertising copywriter. The movement to short stories and fiction was not ‘work’ to me. I find myself totally caught up in the characters and scenes I’m writing. I ‘live’ the scenes, totally immersed in the action and actually feel the physical sensations created mentally in my head.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
Cloud watching. Working-out in the gym to clear writing blocks or channel inspiration. History. My local pub was a haunt for highwaymen and was built in 1460ad – before the Royal Hampton Court Palace the home of Henry VIII – the English king who had 6 wives ( but not all at the same time – the executioners axe came in handy after a particularly bad ‘domestic’!)
What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Take it easy. Take it slow. Write about what inspires you. Practice until you develop your own style and ‘voice’.
What are you currently reading?
Shades of Green by Andy Lake, then back to my love of Thomas Hardy – his first and last novels – Desperate Remedies and Jude the Obscure.
The Mayor of Casterbridge is a writers master- class of character and plot development.
What are you currently working on?
Transform Your Speaking & Writing Business Skills
How has your life changed since you began writing?
The sublime satisfaction of seeing people enjoy your work. It’s giving a gift of enjoyment.
Do you listen to music while you write?
All the time – music is life! Ranging from classical to modern singer songwriters depending on the mood.
What’s been your favorite moment as an author?
Thomas Hardy by a mile – his use of language is sheer poetry.
Out of all of your characters, who is your favorite?
Jannah in One Degree North. Sexy, scheming, ruthless, clever, ambitious, intoxicating.
You’re stranded on a desert island. What books do you take with you?
Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafron
Tess of the d’Ubervilles – Thomas Hardy
Far from the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
The 1000 Autumns of Jacob de Zoet – David Mitchell
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Villa in Spain – getting fluent in Spanish
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
He got there in the end.
Where can fans find you?
Succeess before start up
This fall I am highlighting 25 authors, their works, and a little bit about who they are and how they became writers. Follow my blog and discover incredible books just waiting to be read, exceptional authors to follow and different genres to explore!