My road to writing fiction

I was born in 1929 in Charlton and spent my early years in Charlton and Blackheath. About to follow the family tradition of starting at Colfe’s Grammar School in Lewisham, my education was interrupted by the outbreak of war and I was evacuated to Skinners School in Tunbridge Wells with my older brother.

My father ended up taking on a house his colleague had been renting in Gresham Road, Oxted (now where the library is located) and I finished my education at Oxted County School.

I was much more inclined to the arts than business, but after I finished school, my father persuaded me to get a job in banking, which I dutifully did, aside from a spell in the RAF for my National Service, after which I returned reluctantly to banking for a while.

After suffering the tedium of working in a Bank, I managed to escape in 1955 and mounted the first slope of becoming a writer by landing a job in the Publicity Department of Siemens Ediswan in Charing Cross Road as Press Liaison Officer for 18 factories, also as sub-editor of the company newspaper.

After that I Joined GEC in 1960, becoming Press Officer for radio, T.V and electronics and the Company’s Hirst Research Centre.

When the Press Office was almost totally disbanded shortly afterwards, I was invited to join Firth Cleveland Ltd., located in Cleveland Row, just off St. James’s Street as Group Press Officer, with the task of setting up a new central Press Office, co-ordinating the activities of the PR Divisional Officers, and formulating a corporate policy.

Following this, I became Publicity Manager at World Wide Helicopters in Surrey in 1962, which involved filming an impressive record of the company’s global work over a wide range of support services overseas, to promote its activities.

I became so interested in this new exciting departure that I became partner in an industrial film production company making films for a number of industrial groups, combining presentation and scriptwriting.

Eventually, due to an increasingly competitive market in industrial film production, I moved on to become a freelance writer and contributed regular features for a management magazine, where it was quite refreshing to be able to choose a subject for interviewing without having to endorse a company’s view point.

This was followed by an appointment as a senior PR Consultant for a company located off Fleet Street, before ending my career handling publicity for research and development at British Gas, organising press visits to the research stations and offshore oil rigs and writing all the production director’s presentations.

On retirement in 1993, I became interested in researching my family tree after my father mentioned he had no knowledge of his ancestors as his father had died when he was very young.

After finishing research on all the branches of my family (and various others), I  decided to get down to pursuing my first love of fiction and creative writing and with the advent of self-publishing, published my first book, ‘Save Our Shop’ in 2012, followed by the two children’s books – ‘Happenings in Hookwood’ and ‘Granddad Bracey and the Flight to Seven Seas’ in 2013 and 2014. Then came the sequel to ‘Save Our Shop’, entitled ‘In The Soup’ in 2015; ‘The Spy Who Couldn’t Count’ in 2017 and finally, ‘Don’t Bank on it Sweetheart’ in Dec 2018.

My next book, another romantic comedy, is entitled ‘The Duncans Are Coming’ and is in much the same vein, with a hero and two women vying for his affections. As of now, October 2019, is about three quarters finished.

Following that, I have the stirrings of a plot in my mind, involving a police cadet who fails to make the grade and decides to set himself up as a private investigator helped by a stray dog who turns out to have unusual powers of deduction!

If you have liked any of my books, please take a moment to leave a review. It would mean a lot to me.

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