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About the Author

I was born in Hampstead, London, but grew up in a ‘leafy suburb’ in Hertfordshire before moving to Irvine in Scotland at the age of sixteen, after gaining O levels at Bushey Grammar School in Watford. Once north of the border, I spent my Sixth Form days at Irvine Royal Academy, gaining an A grade in Higher English and it was while I was living in Irvine that I truly discovered wine, women and song (well, beer, Scots lassies and rock music, anyway). Having decided it was too soon to settle down to my next stage of education, I spent three years working in a tailor’s shop in Kilmarnock, ending up as assistant manager before leaving to start a Teacher Training Course at Milton Keynes College of Education in Buckinghamshire.

I’ve often wondered whether the fact that the MKCE buildings were then situated in Bletchley Park, right next door to where the Ultra decoding operation took place during World War II, was a subconscious stimulus towards writing spy thriller novels, but, at the time, I completed my training and started a career as an English teacher in 1974, teaching eleven to sixteen year olds in a school in Luton. In 1982, I gained a 2/1 Honours Degree in English Literature at Hatfield Polytechnic, but by then, I had already started writing thriller novels in my spare time. I’ve always been fascinated by stories and reading – my parents often reckoned that the only way I would put a book down was by having it surgically removed – and when I found myself convalescing after a minor operation, I decided to try and write a book myself.

Easier said than done, of course. It took seven years before The Faust Conspiracy was finally published by the now-defunct Malvern Publishing Company. It gained a glowing review from the Daily Express (cue much excitement on my part, amid thoughts of retiring from teaching), then, inevitably, disappeared into obscurity – the fate, unfortunately, of about ninety per cent of first novels, if truth be told. However, other books were in the pipeline, and were published over the next few years: The Radar Job (published in the USA as The Dutch Caper), then Emerald, a sequel to Radar, and a collaborative novel, Gold Run, which for various reasons turned out to be distinctly ill-starred – not an experience I would care to repeat. The Alaska Project proved to be the last one published by Malvern, but, by then, the first three books had been released in the USA by Walker Books and would soon be followed by Piccolo. All of the USA editions attracted favourable responses (there was even talk at one point of Emerald being made into a film), but, increasingly, I found that, as I moved up the promotion ladder in my teaching career, eventually ending up as Head of Media in an Upper School, I had less and less time to devote to writing and so the novels pretty much went on the back burner. Instead, what spare time I had was spent on gaining a Masters Degree in Media, Culture and Communications at the Institute Of Education in London (mostly because I was able to write a Dissertation on the film Blade Runner, which was no hardship at all).

However, once I retired from teaching and discovered the joy of e-readers, I decided to go back to the novels and put them out as ebooks. It was an opportunity to sort out all the typos, plot holes and other problems that often only become apparent with the passing of time (although you wonder how the hell you missed them in the first place) or, in the case of The Faust Conspiracy, which often had me cringing with embarrassment at various points, more or less rewrite it. It also enabled me to release two new novels – Berlin Endgame  (a sequel to Dutch Caper and Emerald) and Servants Of The State that have taken shape over the intervening years. Finally, I've just completed my first SF novel, No Direction Home, after many years of wondering whether I should attempt one, so the next few months could be really interesting!

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