Having been born in Hong Kong and had the privilege of living in many countries around the world as a child and adult, books have always been my constant companions. Exactly when I decided I wanted to be an author is difficult to tell, but perhaps when I started reading my first “grown-up” books at age eight. “Greenmantle” by John Buchan was the first, followed by “The Thirty Nine Steps” and “Prester John”. From there the flood gates opened, with Graham Greene, Ernest Hemingway, F.Scott Fitzgerald, then onto JP Donleavy, John Fowles and the Russian authors. Interspersed amongst these more literary works, were Hammond Innes, Alastair McLean, John Le Carre and so on. Good writing is good writing, and I enjoy HE Bates as much as Aldous Huxley.
But it wasn’t until I left the Army in 1978 having completed nearly eight years with Britain’s elite Parachute Regiment, with two bloody tours in Northern Ireland thrown in the middle that left me without a large bowel, that I was precipitated into writing. My first book CONTACT about my tours in Northern Ireland, was written in three emotional weeks, took two years to find a home with Martin Secker & Warburg, having been rejected by seventeen other publishers, and became an ‘instant‘ bestseller. And I have been writing ever since.
What do I write? Hopefully books that entertain, stimulate and inform. Books that are controversial and different. I love to push the boundaries both in style and content and it is up to the reader to decide whether I have been successful. No risk no reward.
Now I spend my days sailing, writing, trying to avoid the worst effects of the economic downturn and enjoying my wife and family.