I never set out to be the author of the Horace Horrise books about the UK's funniest, liveliest and naughtiest young person! How did it all start?
Back in 2008 I was asked if I would like to become Chairman of the executive committee of 5th Chislehurst Scout Group where my son was a cub. I was then sacked, the only job I've ever been sacked from in my life! I was subsequently asked to consider becoming a Scout Leader in this growing group; a role which I took up for a year in 2010. I have been there ever since.
It soon became apparent to me that children are very funny! Over the course of the next few years I started to make notes on the amusing things that the scouts said or did. Normally every meeting threw up a humorous incident or comment. Conversations with other scout leaders also became a rich seam to be tapped, and in 2013 I started work on putting this material into a book. "In You Go! A year or two in the life of a scout leader" was the result. It was published in 2014 to critical acclaim (fortunately) and was revised and reprinted in 2016.
Also in 2016 I published a follow-up book, "Sleeping Bags & Tortures. The Private Diaries of an Adventurous Scout and his Scout Leader". This is three stories in one book: the diary of a Scout, the diary of a Scout Leader, and interwoven together the story of one year in the life of the fictional 3rd Chislehurst Scouts.
2016 also saw the publication of "1000 Fantastic Scout Games". Written for scout leaders it is designed to ensure that anyone who looks after children or young people will never be without a fantastic game idea.
2017 saw the start of publication of nine novelettes and novellas under the series title, "The Adventures of Horace Horrise". Horace is the 21st century's answer to Richmal Crompton's "Just William" books and are about a boy who carries the torch for young people enjoying themselves in the open air with minimal disturbance from technology and, to a lesser extent, adults. They are designed to be read by adults and children alike. Horace's stories, in the main, are "Grown-up stories for grown-up kids about a kid who thinks he's grown-up but isn't"!
In 2017 "Letters Home from Scout & Guide Camp" and "250 No Equipment Games" were also published.
2018 is seeing the publication of three more Horace Horrise books.
I am very humbled to have my writings favourably compared to Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole and to have Horace compared to Richmal Crompton's William as well as Paddington Bear.