What is there to say about me? I was born in Leicester, the only child of an Army Major and a secretary from Singapore. My dad’s ancestors were the London publishers Sands and Company. When dad moved with his job I was sent to Kimbolton School in Cambridgeshire. It was here that my love of literature began, inspired by a brilliant English teacher, John Stratford. My favourite authors were William Golding and Arthur Conan Doyle. I wrote lots of poetry, produced a play based on Chaucer’s Merchant’s Tale and helped edit the school magazine.
Somehow I landed a place at Warwick University to read Philosophy and took an English Lit option in the first year. I was still writing a lot of poetry, but keeping it to myself. When I left university I headed for London to continue studying, but soon dropped out of my Law course. Answering an advert, I found myself working at Lord’s cricket ground for the Marylebone Cricket Club. And for one season I was the man behind the microphone, perched high at the top of the pavilion. While it was fun and I met a lot of my boyhood cricket heroes, I didn’t see it as a career.
So I joined Alcan Aluminium as a Press Officer. I was back writing again, this time it was press releases for technical journals and local and national papers. There were press launches and sometimes TV coverage. I moved into Sales and Marketing and was seconded to Germany for three years. Now with a young family, I came back to the UK to work in the Midlands and later obtained an MBA at Keele University.
I spent several more years in the metals industry as a Sales Director and Managing Director before starting my own consultancy company in Nottingham. By this time, the seed of a novel had already been planted inside my overworked laptop, so I decided to plunge into early retirement. It has given me the time and mind space for writing and I also enjoy helping out in the book section of a Nottinghamshire Hospice shop.
The completion of my first novel “Leave Only Footprints”, soon to be published, has only been possible with the help of a patient mentor, Anthony Cropper, The East Midlands Writing School and the “Smoking Pen” writing group in Nottingham. They have helped to make it a real team effort, reminding me that we are never alone. They have got me through those times of despair, when the finishing line looked out of reach.
Sometimes it helps to get away from books for a while. Then I like nothing better than to walk the surrounding countryside with my wife and friends. And when the weather gets warmer I can often be spotted at Trent Bridge, watching cricket!