I never intended becoming a published author...
Being an avid story-teller to my children and grandchildren I decided, not long after retiring, to write down the true events of my great, great aunt Maria, and her struggle to reclaim an estate that once belonged to our family in 1750. But the piece was so dry,and so boring, that I decided to enhance it with a few good old-fashioned villains, a vicious dog, and all manner of things that I could conjure up. The end result was a 100,000 word manuscript written for any descendants who wanted to read it.
Then fate took a hand. Whilst on holiday in Italy the following year, my wife Jay and I took a day trip to Capri, and on our return overheard an American couple asking an Italian, how to get back to their hotel. It was near ours, so we gave them a lift. We dropped them off and didn't expect to hear from them again, but, two days later they appeared at our hotel and we spent the evening together. During that time, Steve Robitaille, the man, told me that he liked English history, and I told him about my great aunt Maria, and the novel I had written. He asked if he could read it, and a week later, I emailed a copy to him in America.
Imagine our surprise, when 48 hours later, Steve told me that he'd loved the novel, that he was an Emmy Award winning film producer, and that he wanted my permission to convert it to a film script! Now, it sits somewhere in the USA behind a lot of other titles awaiting a decision.
That mind-blowing episode led to me getting the first novel 'Maria's Papers' published. Since then, I have been nominated for three book prizes, and I became a Finalist in the People's Book Prize 2013/14 for my second novel 'The Matthew Chance Legacy'. Now, three more have been published, 'The Emergence of Malaterre', 'The Fire of Mars' which, I am delighted to report went straight into the Amazon UK top 100 historical best-sellers list, and 'The Hallenbeck Echo' which was my most challenging story to write, but to date it was the one that I enjoyed writing the most.
I have now written a sixth novel named 'The Monkshead Conspiracy' that is currently being reviewed by my publishers, and I'm well into writing my seventh.
Isn't it amazing how events can change your life? I recently read that 'a small act of kindness creates an endless ripple that one day, comes back to you' - and for me, it did.
And who says that life is over when you retire? It's not for me sitting back and watching the television and letting the world pass me by, my mind is too active. I love the challenge of writing, conjuring up new ideas, of research, and learning new skills, and most of all? Having fun doing it!
Thank you for taking the time to read this.