Essays at school in any subject were always a joy, and maths a drudge, so it pointed in the right direction when an essay or poem was published in the school magazine at the age of 14 or so.
Always a keen reader and writer, and with an interest in offset litho printing, the opportunity presented itself in 1979 to write and produce a fanzine for the rock band, Motorhead. It was the punk era, fanzines were trendy, a printing machine was available, an introduction to the band was made and we have never looked back. Now, in 2010, I have the pleasure of saying that I have been running the Motorheadbangers Fan Club for 30 years, with almost 90 fanzines to my credit.
But going back a little, or perhaps quite a lot, Manchester based Babylon Books approached in 1980 for a book about the band, and this was published as 'Motorhead' in 1981.
In 1993, contact was made with a Canadian publisher, and 'The Illustrated Collector's Guide To Motorhead' was in the shops in 1993.
Writing personal essays and stories, and also for and about Motorhead, was a valuable apprenticeship, and where I paid my dues. Written in 1999 / 2000, 'The Message' is a thinly disguised Jill Dando murder crime thriller. Don't ask me how, but from the minute her murder was announced, I was convinced that a hit-man was responsible; and it turned out to be true. 'The Message' was expanded before Barry George's release, and re-published as 'A Conspiracy Of Silence.'
With quite a few manuscripts already on file, and others written at the time, another 11 books followed; 7 crime thriller fiction, one fantasy, one home front war fiction, and two Sci-Fi.
Another Motorhead book, which reprinted the text only from the first 15 fanzines, was published in 2002 as 'Diary Of The Fans Volume 1.' This has been made available again in 2011 on Amazon, as a download.
After writing some essays and humorous poetry for a local magazine, I sent them, along with some local photos and postcards, to a local interest publisher, leading to the 2008 book titled 'When Upton Had Trains.'
After writing a resume / memoir of post war life, and the difficulty in trying to convince parents and grandparents that rock 'n' roll was worthwhile; plus short reviews of the bands that I went to see in the area between 1960 and 1980, 'Bournemouth Rocks!' was published in 2009, as a unique look at the local music scene.
In 2010, 2 new thrillers, titled 'When The Clouds Have Passed,' and 'Thunder In A Bottle,' were published. Also, a non-fiction title, 'Put That Fag Out!' which is, of course, a stop smoking book. The hints and tips helped me when the faith and integrity in patches and gum stopped, and there was nothing on the market to take their place.
2011 / 2012 will see another local interest book, published by Natula, about the long-forgotten Dorset brick and clay industry. Mainly focussing on the town of Upton, and the clay drainage pipe and brick industries now erased from the landscape, they are remembered with text, OS maps, and photos from the early 1950's to the mid-1970's.
The recent invitation by Amazon to upload digital books to their site, prompted me to re-publish my out-of-print back catalogue of 12 titles. This, I am most grateful for, as those books were just sitting there doing nothing. It takes untold hours in writing a novel, and Amazon gave the opportunity to have those stories not only available again in their listings, but also living and breathing once more.
Three new titles have also been added as digital books: 'Within Spitting Distance,' which is a previously unpublished crime thriller, written in 2005, about a detective who is within spitting distance of retiring, when a speight of murders take place to bog down his final weeks on the force.
Also, 2 more Local Interest books, 'Long-Forgotten Facts About Upton & Poole In Dorset,' which is another mixture of humorous poetry, with short essays, detailing some of the factual events which took place in the area; and 'Rock 'n' Roll Ink,' which is a collection of over 100 live gig reviews from the Poole area, written from 2005 onwards, for the Mr. Kyps venue.
2012 will see the Cleopatra Books publication of 'Live To Win,' a brand new Motorhead biography. A blaze of colour and photos on every page, it is the full story, with a wealth of information which has only come to light during its writing; and a raft of previously unpublished and rare live pictures of the Lemmy KIlmister, Larry Wallis, Lucas Fox first line-up.
At the end of January 2012, 'When The Clouds Have Passed' was re-titled to 'Murder In The Village' and given a new cover photo. In early May, the book achieved #5 in Amazon's British Detective Story chart, and stayed in the Top 10 for 3 weeks.