Born in 1943 in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire. I currently live in Essex with my wife, Margaret, and my daughter Elizabeth. For many years I was a Chartered Surveyor in local government. I was a Senior project manager with the Greater London Council until it was closed down in 1986. I then set up my own surveying practice, retiring in 2008. I had always wanted to write a novel but could never think of a good enough plot. My first novel, The Kammersee Affair, published in 2006, was inspired by a holiday in Austria. We were staying in Grundlsee. The next lake, Toplitzsee, was used by the Germans during the war to test rockets, and torpedoes. There were rumours of gold hidden in that lake. Despite extensive searches the gold was never found. In my book, however, it is found, only in the next lake, Kammersee.
After “The Kammersee Affair” there were four novels featuring my private detective Tom Kendall – “The Mackenzie Dossier”; “The Marinski Affair”; “Epidemic”; and “A Killing In The City”. My latest novel, “The Thackery Journal” was published on 8 August 2013
What inspires you to write?
That’s a difficult one. Certainly it isn’t because of some need to solve the world’s problem, and I have no profound messages to impart. No I think it is simply the fact that I enjoy doing it, and I hope that others will share that enjoyment.
Tell us about your writing process.
Some authors start at page 1 and then just work their way through to the end. I can’t do that. I need to have a basic outline, however sparse, or detailed, I need to know roughly the route I am going to take. Now admittedly as I think of details to fit in to the story the base story may change drastically. so be it. Having written four private detective stories I am beginning to develop a pattern. First we have the protagonist, usually a powerful, ruthless, man. We then have the crime. Then Kendall does his stuff to solve the crime. lastly we tie up loose ends. At any one time I usually have three or four works in progress.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
With four novels featuring Kendall and his business partner Mollie published, my main characters are fairly well developed. Yes they do speak to me in the sense that because I know them so well I know what they will say, and do, in certain situations. There is a lot of me in Kendall so I know him very well. Conversations usually flow so well that at times I have difficulty keeping up with the typing.
What advice would you give other writers?
Enjoy your writing. If you do actually enjoy it, and it causes stress, then what’s the point. A lot of people will like your work, but a lot will hate it. You cannot please everyone, so don’t even try. Write for yourself, no one else. If you like it then that is all that matters. If others like it then that is a bonus. I’m not one for rules – if it reads OK to you then that’s fine. People do not speak perfect English in reality, so why should they in a book.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My first novel “The Kammersee Affair” was completed in 2006. I very quickly realised that because I was not an A list celebrity it wasn’t likely that a traditional publisher would be interested. Nonetheless a search on the Internet indicated that there were publishers who would be interested – the so called vanity publishers, the publisher that charged you for the privilege of being published. Charges varied drastically. One publisher wanted $10000 (I kid you not), another wanted £2400. I eventually found one who agreed to publish my work for £400. Over the next three or four years, three more novels were published by the same company. Regrettably the books never sold, due to a lack of promotion. In March 2012 my fifth novel was ready. Self publishing had now become very easy, with Lulu.com, and Createspace ready to do the paperbacks; and KDP doing the ebooks, and all at no charge. In August 2012 I established my own publishing company and “A Killing In The City” was published. By this time my contracts with the vanity publisher had expired. Between August 2012 and March 2013 four more of my novels were self published. “The Thackery Journal” was self published in August 2013
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I understand that ebooks are now selling so well that they have, or soon will, overtake sales of paperbacks. This will I feel mean in the closure of a number of traditional bookshops. It will also lead to more and more people self publishing.
What genres do you write?
Crime; Historical fiction
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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