Although I’m now retired and living just north of York, its been a long and active path that has brought me here.
I went to sea as a Cadet in the Merchant Navy in the late 60s, and spent four years sailing between the UK and the east coast of South America. Back then, a ship might stay as long as three weeks in a port. Nowadays the same amount of cargo will be unloaded and fresh cargo reloaded on board in less than 24 hours.
I’ve always worked on the basis of trying to see as much as I could in the ports we went to, and after South America, work took me pretty well all over the world as I climbed the ladder to command. The only area I never made it to was the West coast of North America.
After coming ashore, I took the family off to the Solomon Islands for two years, where I was teaching at their little Marine School there, and then down to the Falklands where I ran the Fishery Protection Service for 2 years (great job).
Then to Cyprus, Holland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and London working for shipping companies on their safety and management systems.
These days, apart from writing, after we retired up here, we found we had hedgehogs in the garden. We still feed them, and they continue to prosper. We find them enchanting, and hedgehogs need all the help they can get.
A few odd facts:
- Most remote place I’ve been: Pitcairn Island.
- Longest trip on board: 9 months 6 days.
- Favourite places: Singapore, Buenos Aires, Santos.
- Coldest place: Disko Island, Greenland.
- Most Northerly place: Kirkeness(Norway) / Murmansk.
- Best place we’ve lived: Stanley in the Falklands.
- Worst place: Honiara, the Solomon Islands.
- Crew I’ve sailed with: British, West Indian, Maltese, Polish, Croatian, Somali, Filipino, Burmese, German, Russian, Solomon Islands, Chinese.
- Flags I have sailed under: British, Singapore, Cyprus, Austria, Bahamas, Antigua, Panama, Liberia, Solomon Islands.
- Number of Countries visited: 110
And finally – my Publisher’s have a new imprint. Darkstroke Books. They are actively seeking authors, so if you write in ANY of the dark genres or tropes – feel free to submit to them!