Chris Todhunter was born in Cumberland in 1953 but spent his early years in Western Australia. Back home, after university in Durham, he served nine years in the Royal Navy as a seaman officer and hydrographic surveyor. On coming ashore in 1984 he took up and practised maritime law. Thereafter he worked for a global subsea engineering company.
His first book, Maelstrom, was started on a flight to New York - a flight which turned round mid-Atlantic and came home because of 'some problem with US airspace'. The date was 11 September 2001.
The Cyclops Ransom followed in 2012, inspired by the initial difficulty the West experienced in dealing with Somali piracy. As the story tells, the solution seems simple until you look into the network of international laws and conventions; but then, when you need a result (and the novelist always needs a result) there's usually a way round the intricacies of those laws and conventions.
In the Shade of a Willow (published 2013) is a book he had for many years wanted to write. The Great War had always fascinated and at the same time horrified him: how did the volunteers and conscripts at the front (women as well as men), and their families at home, cope with the visceral nature of total war on an industrial scale? And what did seeing the results of it, wrought on the human body standing next to you in the trench, do to the mind? In the Shade of a Willow is his attempt to put himself, through his imagination, in the position of one young man who blithely went off to war for a bit of excitement.
As he feels the characters in that book are still very much alive to him, Chris is working on a sequel to In the Shade of a Willow. This sequel will take the main characters through the Twenties and Thirties, years which carried their own drama and conflicts, ending up with what will seem to them like a re-run of their own experiences - except that they will be watching their own children doing it, and suffering the agony of being at home and not knowing what is happening at the sharp end.
Writing occupies Chris full-time now that he is retired. He lives with his wife in the village of Combs in Suffolk with their Norfolk terrier, Archie. They have a grown-up son who works in Yorkshire in agricultural commodities.
Author website: http://christodhunter.co.uk