A single sentence on the page is worth a thousand great ideas left unwritten
Tell me what you think. Do you like my stories? Do you disagree with my musings on random topics? Do you want to offer me a publishing contract? No matter what, I'd love to hear from you. Email me on: email@example.com.
You'll find some of my published stories (and a few unpublished ones) here, along with some unfiltered musings on whatever happens to grab my attention on any given day.
A few years ago I was on holiday in the US and, having been travelling around for about a month, decided that I needed a haircut. I was staying on a small island at the time and there was only one barber. It was the first time I had been to a barber shop with no mirrors for the customers to see what was being done to them. When I got back to my hotel, I realised why. 'Tony' was closing the shop early that day so he could take a boat to the mainland and play golf. And that's where this story began to form in my mind.
Mainly short stories and flash fiction
Some reportage plus some thoughts on communications and other business topics
Some of my work has appeared in books - here's where you can buy them
Working with words
When I was ten, in my final year of primary school, my class teacher, the wonderful, inspirational Mr Batten, asked everyone in the class what they wanted to be.
When I declared that I wanted to be a writer, he said: That's a very admirable ambition but you'll never make any money out of it.
He was half right. Writing fiction hasn't paid for that chalet in the French Alps (yet) but that's not why I write it. But I've been making a living from writing ever since I left school - reviews, articles, speeches, reports, and even a few (forgettable) songs. In the past year I've completed two novels and I'm working on my third. And, as you'll see if you can spare a bit of time to browse this site, I've also been busy producing short stories, non-fiction and the occasional blog piece when something piques my interest. I hope you'll enjoy at least some of what you read here and please do get in touch and let me know what you think.
Have you ever met a writer and wondered how they got to be that way*?
It's amazing the difference a teacher can make to your life. At primary school, my final class teacher, John Batten, encouraged me to plunder the school library, sometimes reading several books in a week, and gave free rein to my imagination as I filled my exercise books with stories. Along with my mother, whose dedication ensured that by the time I attended school at the age of five I was already reading books intended for children twice my age, Mr Batten is the reason I became a writer.
If Mr Batten lit a creative spark in me, the teachers at my secondary school seemed determined to snuff it out, along with any other demonstration of creativity, imagination or independent thought. Failing my exams as the school failed me, I got out as soon as I could and talked my way into a dogsbody job on a music magazine, where the rewards for unsocial hours, terrible pay and a foul-mouthed boss included tickets to gigs, an armload of free records and the opportunity to see my name in print. (If Rick Wakeman's reading this, sorry for the terrible review.)
Fast forward a few years and I'm writing about the fashion business - with the emphasis firmly on the business side; I still have no interest in fashion - and going to catwalk shows, being taken on factory tours and interviewing the likes of cutting-edge designer, Katharine Hamnett, one day and pillar of the establishment, Monty Moss the next.
After that, it was off to what journalists call The Dark Side - corporate PR - where my most satisfactory achievements were successfully translating the bilge produced by people far cleverer and better-paid than me into language that journalists and other normal people could understand.
That kept me gainfully employed until one chilly morning when, on my way into the office, I learned the very painful way that vans and bicycles don't always play together nicely. A stay in hospital, some surgery and some physiotherapy, plus several months on crutches followed, at which point I realised my life needed to be re-focused a little.
Since then, I've been a bit of a hired pen and occasionally parachuted into ailing PR departments to provide some extra muscle, while spending as much time as possible writing for enjoyment. Some of the results are here and I hope you enjoy them too.
What do I do when I'm not writing? I still love cycling, mainly solo touring (UK, Europe, USA) and long-distance events (I've completed the 1200km Paris-Brest-Paris three times and the 1400km London-Edinburgh-London twice). I claim to play the guitar; my family may disagree; and, of course, my idea of a perfect afternoon or evening is a comfortable chair and a good book.