I was born in Portsmouth on the south coast of England in the middle of a snowstorm; word has it the same was true of Charles Dickens. I’d love to say we have more than this in common. Due to my dad’s career, I’ve known home to be Portsmouth, Bristol, Birmingham and a few other places in between. I’ve also lived in Jane Austen’s Bath, but again I can’t say that was anything more than a coincidence. On average I seem to move north about ten miles every year, so if this trend continues I’ll probably finish up somewhere close to the Faeroe Isles…
I’ve been writing full time since I was twenty-two, though probably more because of stubbornness than success. Like most writers, I’ve amassed a file of well over a hundred rejection slips – or at least I would have if I kept any of them – and once even had the honour of receiving three in the same envelope! After five years of following the traditional advice of trying to hook the perfect agent, I took the leap of faith and joined the ever-growing Indie revolution and less than four months later I woke up to find The Templar Agenda was ranked number 16 in the UK chart and had sold more copies in one day before breakfast than I had in those first five years combined – admittedly, I don’t always get up that early! Looking back, I regard those years as the most important of my life simply because I made the most mistakes and learned the most lessons, most notably not to let the fear of failure ruin a lifelong dream!
Writing aside, in my time I have worked for the Ministry of Defence – some have erroneously claimed as a spy! – graduated university, turned my back on the corporate ladder, been in and out of love, travelled across Europe and America, become an uncle, proved the existence of a Templar-governed New World Order and nearly got lost in a cave trying to salvage Montezuma’s treasure – one of the above I might have made up, but it’s probably not the one you think! The older I get, the more I’ve learned to appreciate the little things in life. While the lad in me still thinks James Bond is real and that any film starring Vin Diesel and Bruce Willis is the best thing since sliced pizza, I love spending my days taking in the world around me, be it a European city, cathedral or ruined castle, a walk in the countryside, an old time pub or teahouse or anywhere in the company of my amazing nephews. These days, I spend most of my time in Shakespeare’s old town and if I’m not outside enjoying the wind, the rain and the tourists, chances are I’m working on my latest thriller or biography.
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