- Did you always dream of becoming an author?
I have always enjoyed writing poems, essays, reports and articles without associating any of that with becoming an author.
- What was your first job?
Before and during my time at university, I filleted fish in a wet fish shop in Kingsland Road, Dalston that had once been owned by Alfred Hitchcock’s brother. Glamorous, wasn’t it? My first real post-education job was as a management trainee for National Westminster Bank in Cheapside.
- How did you come about writing your book? Was that your intention or did you start writing for fun?
It started after I wrote a family history for my six grandchildren containing personal information about their ancestors going back to about 1850. They wouldn’t leave me alone after that, the ancestors not the grandchildren. Rather than writing for fun, it was as though I was being compelled to write. Since then it has become more of an addiction than a pleasure, although it does give me great pleasure when I think that I’ve got the people, their voices and their stories just right.
- What was your life like before you became an author?
I would say physically hectic. I stopped commuting to London and retired from the Office of Rail Regulation in 2006. For the next five years I worked on the policies and procedures of Surry Police before becoming a care home waiter, a hotel waiter and a baker for the Co-op (not all at the same time). My son went to the United Arab Emirates to start a business and we have been backwards and forwards to Dubai ever since. I did a lot of writing while I was out there, trying to keep out of the sun.
- Did you face any struggles before becoming an author? If so, how did you overcome them?
My biggest struggle has been overcoming a civil servant’s reluctance to get too personal or down and dirty with my characters, to feel their pain or to include elements of suspense in my story. I have a deplorable and naive tendency to give the game away in the opening sentence.
- Now that you are a published author, how has your life changed, if at all?
After being exceptionally fit and healthy all my life, playing football with the grandchildren and swimming with them, I found myself in hospital on the day I received my copy of Guilt-Edged. I hope that I’m not about to kick the bucket, but, if I am, I want to finish editing the sequel first.
- Can you please describe a typical day in your life now?
After we moved from Whitchurch in Hampshire to Romsey, I joined every club and organisation that I possibly could. So my life was full of walking football at least for a time, rambling, learning Italian, poetry readings, discussions in a U3A philosophy group, concerts, recitals, plays, going to talks on every subject under the sun, going on walks as well as archiving and minute-taking for the Local Romsey History Society. History has always been my main passion. My life has slowed recently for health reasons, although I’m still writing away like mad.
- What is the most memorable moment of your life as an author?
The most memorable moment of my life as an author was on hearing that Guilt-Edged had been accepted for publication and reading the encouraging comments from people at Pegasus.
- In a few words, how would you review your experience with Pegasus Publishers?
Going on an expedition to a strange new land and having someone with me to show me the way and stop my spirits from taking a sudden nosedive.
- Why did you choose Pegasus Publishers?
I sent Guilt-Edged to three publishers and received two acceptances and one rejection. The publisher who rejected it had accepted an earlier version of my book the year before when I wasn’t happy with that particular draft. I hadn’t come across the concept of vanity publishing, but I liked what Pegasus had to say about the subject, and they have kept to their word.
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