My journey towards becoming a novelist has certainly been slow to start and unconventional; nothing in my background hinted in that direction. My education as a dyslexic kid in a London secondary modern school was not exactly distinguished. My business career in dental technology was rather more successful. Then I took the rather rash decision to retire at the tender age of forty-six in order to build my own house in the Cotswolds, to breed a few trout, and to be involved with fly fishing. As reckless as that decision might have been, it was well over twenty years ago now, and we’re still here. We are not really self-sufficient, but my wife Carol and I manage and maintain everything ourselves.
These days, we let out one of our farm buildings as a holiday cottage. That’s proven to be quite successful, and we have certainly met some interesting people. We also have three adult children between us who, of necessity, have done exactly the same as I did – except in reverse. They have left the “good life” in the Cotswolds and are finding their way in the world; not to mention providing us with four lovely young grandchildren.
I have written quite a bit of non-fiction over the years but, until recently, not a word of fiction. I came to novel writing completely by accident. I snapped my Achilles tendon playing tennis. That meant months of inactivity which, for me, was tantamount to torture. In desperation, I thought I would try to write a novel which, for someone like me who is dyslexic, was a ridiculous idea. I figured I had nothing to lose other than the one thing I had in abundance – time. To my complete amazement, I took to writing fiction with all the ease that a duck takes to water and the rest, as they say, is history.
With no literary background whatsoever, my style of writing simply emerged spontaneously. My first two novels are both essentially studies of the human condition. I like to get into the minds of my characters and explore their emotions. More importantly, I want to convey those feelings of joy and despair to the reader. I quickly found that I am not content to just tell a story; my pleasure lies in creating an experience both for myself and the reader. My only regret is that I didn’t discover the joy of writing sooner. It has become one of my greatest pleasures in life. My third novel is underway, and there will hopefully be many more.
If there is ever any credit coming our way, then I must share it with my lovely wife, Carol. We are very much a team. Carol does all those things that I am hopeless at doing, which covers an awful lot.