At the age of 6, Fran Hiatt entered a national essay competition writing about cruelty to animals and won a novel, "The Boy Who Wanted a Dog" by Enid Blyton. Years later he wrote a TV play in his spare time which came close to being accepted by a TV company, but didn't quite make it.
Continuing with the day jobs, he worked in West Africa and India and in the evenings penned, "24 Hours From Tulse Hill". Having being brought up in a police family he felt suitably qualified with enough insider knowledge to research and write a credible thriller. By setting it in his home-town of Bournemouth, its familiar geography and landmarks also helped cure his homesickness.
Back in the UK the stand-alone sequel, "Cold Hearts & Candy Floss" 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 UK's mapping agency in some heinous crimes.