Born November, 1946, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex. Seaside childhood punctuated by football, swimming, afternoons on the dodgems, run-ins with the police, multiple raids on the local library…plus near-total immersion in English post-war cinema classics including The Dam Busters, Ice Cold in Alex, The Wooden Horse, The Cockleshell Heroes and Reach For The Sky. War-crazy? Sort of…
Wins scholarship to a London boarding school and then onward to Cambridge University. Reads English, volunteers for Six-Day War (those films again!), and emerges three years later with five mercifully unpublished manuscripts, still intent on becoming a full-time novelist. Yet more rejection slips (plus hunger) compel a career rethink…
Becomes a promotion script-writer with Southern Television, then researcher, then director. Spends the next twenty years making ITV documentaries, many of them networked. Films seabed wrecks of the Titanic and the Bismarck (with American oceanographer Bob Ballard), profiles the Brighton Bomber, produces ITV’s account of Richard Branson’s near-fatal attempt to cross the Atlantic by balloon, wins a number of awards…but still dreams of getting into print.
An ITV commission for 6-part drama series Rules of Engagement is sucessfully finessed into a two-book contract with Pan-Macmillan. Two more novels, both dubbed “international thrillers” follow. Sacked after Television South loses the ITV franchise and embarks on new career as – at last – a full-time novelist.
To date, 26 novels, one biography, plus Airshow, a fly-on-the-wall novel-length piece of reportage. Draws gleefully on home-town Portsmouth (“Pompey”) as the basis for an on-going crime series featuring D/I Joe Faraday and D/C Paul Winter. Contributes five years of personal columns to the Portsmouth News, pens a number of plays and dramatic monologues for local production (including the city’s millenium celebration, Willoughby and Son), then decamps to Devon for a more considered take on Pompey low-life.
The Faraday series comes to an end after 12 books. Healthy sales at home and abroad, plus a French TV adaptation, tempt Orion to commission a spin-off series, set in the West Country, featuring D/S Jimmy Suttle. To date, two titles: Western Approaches and Touching Distance.
Married to the delectable Lin. Has three grown-up sons (Tom, Jack and Woody). Plus grandson Dylan. A corker.
Lifetime ambition? To master colloquial Spanish. Current passion? Coastal quad rowing with Lin and the rest of The Vulcaneers (don’t ask). Favourite time of the day? Six’o’clock.