At the age of 6, Fran Hiatt was entered into a national essay competition writing about cruelty to animals. He won an Enid Blyton book, "The Boy Who Wanted a Dog" and following on from that; absolutely nothing at all - for at least twenty years.
After leaving school, a spell in the RAF was followed by marriage, a child and various occupations; security patrols, lorry driving, vacuum cleaner salesman, office cleaning, accounts clerk and factory work until two years at night-school helped him get into IT.
In his spare time he wrote a TV screenplay which was almost accepted as a sitcom pilot, but it didn't quite make it. Continuing the day job in an aircraft factory, he drew topical cartoons in his spare time for a Saturday slot in local newspaper for a year - but despite its popularity, they neglected to pay him a penny.
Working away from home led him to write and perform stand-up comedy around the London comedy club circuit of the late-1990s. This culminated in a place in the finals in a Channel 4 TV competition at the Edinburgh Festival, and BBC semi-finals in Bristol. Needless to say he didn't win, and consequently he couldn't give up the day job.
To relieve the boredom whilst working in West Africa and India he wrote, "24 Hours From Tulse Hill". Having being brought up in a police family he felt suitably qualified with enough insider knowledge to write a credible detective thriller. Setting the story in his home-town of Bournemouth with its familiar geography, locations, road names and people also helped cure his homesickness.
Back in the UK the stand-alone sequel, "Cold Hearts & Candy Floss" soon followed. The Ordnance Survey murder maps came about because he'd worked for the organisation on similar projects, and it seemed only fair to include the agency in some heinous crimes.
The book, "Trond" combines, "24 Hours From Tulse Hill" and "Cold Hearts & Candy Floss" into one volume.
A third book in the series is on the cards, but at the moment Fran is working away with the day job in South Wales. He's fallen in love with Swansea and The Gower over the past year so who knows, perhaps Trond will be working with the Heddlu De Cymru at some point.
Reviews provide useful feedback for any author, particularly new ones. So if you've enjoyed reading Fran Hiatt's work please spend a couple of minutes writing one on Amazon. He's offered to pick one or two reviewer's names out of the hat to use for villainous characters in a the next book.
With enough favourable reviews, who knows? He might be able to give up the day jobs after 30 years, wear a crumpled linen suit and big brimmed hat and shuffle about at book launches looking enigmatic.