I write about heroes... so am I a hero? I would be if I had to be... honest! I once saved a cat from a tree - okay, it was a small tree, an apple tree in fact, but everyone knows size doesn't matter.
I've been a merchant seaman, and a salesman (I was hopeless), but mostly I've been a Business Analyst (but that doesn't make me a bad person).
Being a sparks (that's what they call Radio Ops...) was cool. I was on a cargo/passenger ship - a cargo ship with a dozen very wealthy passengers slumming it for a bit of adventure.
The good bit was that we (the officers - yep, I was an officer) got to dress up in white uniforms and eat really fancy dinners every night. That was every night for 6 months. I put on 28 pounds!
The really good thing was that the sparks goes off duty the moment the ship picks up the Pilot, whose job it is to steer the ship through dangerous waters or into harbour.
We went to the Far East (Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Burma, Indonesia... Far East then), and the Pilot was needed for the whole time we were there. So I was off duty for a month, and got to see all these places for free! Okay, got robbed in Hong Kong, but that was my fault for not paying attention - oh and got robbed in Manila, but he was armed with a really big gun, so that was okay.
I had to leave, because I was getting fat (I was 22 so fat is bad), and I was getting bored. How? You might ask, when I'm seeing all those places? Well, mostly I saw the ocean... for weeks at a time. 2 hours on watch; 2 hours off. All day, every day. No way.
Back home, I had to earn a living - as all the money-for-nothing slots had been taken by z-list celebs. I became a salesman. Why in God's name, I know not. I went through a one-year intensive training programme and was let loose, selling electronics to industry. I was absolutely useless at it - I couldn't handle any rejection, and wanted people to like me. Neither of which fit well with a sales role.
I ran away.
Without any planning, I fell into the IT industry, as a programmer, and I loved it. I wrote communications protocols in assembler. Now that probably means nothing to anyone, but it translates as programs written in machine code of 0's and 1's. Still, me vs. the machine was great.
I was quite good at it, or so it appears, as I was asked to teach in a training school. Which, since I'm a bit of quiet, introverted type, was a hell of a challenge.
It made me. I became confident and able to handle classes of 25 + students with fun and authority. A great time was had.
I then became a Business Analyst. Talking to everyone in a business to find out what works and what didn't, and then designing a system to a) Improve things, or b) screw everything up - depending on who you asked.
And now I'm a fiction writer. I've published 3 novels (and 3 Young Adult versions, because the young folk don't like 'relationships'), through Amazon Kindle and in Paperback. So that makes me a writer... right?
I wrote An Atheist in Eden first, and loved doing it. It was like watching a comic fantasy movie in my head. As the name implies, it's about a useless, no-hoper called to Heaven to help save it from invasion by Lucid's evil hordes of demons and monsters. Dylan is the Atheist, anarchist, layabout, and bum. Dylan versus thousands of killers. Great fun.
Update! Breaking news! (and all that hyperbole)... I have re-released An Atheist in Eden as Eden's Last Hero (because it has been completely re-edited and updated, so deserves a nice new name).
Then came Winterwood - part of the same Eden series as Dylan's tale, but this one is darker. Lucid comes to Earth intent on conquering it and enslaving everyone's soul to join his revolution in Heaven. The Flare is sent to stop him. Big title, but The Flare is an old black guy from Chicago, an angry Brit woman, and two kids. But there's a revolution in Heaven, so that's all Gabriel can spare.
A lot of good kids are killed in the battle. Sometimes funny, often sad, always scary as Hell.
My first thriller is A Whisper of Armageddon. Harry Thorne is a young Brit Marine sniper, injured in an IED attack. I hate those things; they're a coward's weapon.
When Harry is wounded in Afghanistan, his career as a Royal Marine sniper is over. But he is called on for one more mission. Valentin Tal, a Cold War Russian spy, and two snipers plan to kill the US President, the Prime Minister, and the German Chancellor in London.
While Harry battles the snipers over London's rooftops, he has no idea a Taliban terrorist is about to detonate a Russian bio-weapon over the West's financial centre.
Cross and double-cross, right up to the last page. People like it - which is a good thing...
And now? I'm almost ready to publish The Hellfire Legacy. An Ethan Gill Thriller. Someone is taking out senior US military leaders one by one, and Ethan is called back from retirement to track down and stop the assassins.
And Requiem for Eden - the 3rd comic fantasy in the Eden Stories Series.
Oh, I'm no longer overweight, but 40 years of martial of arts training will slim anyone down. I practiced Karate, Kung Fu, and Aikido. And fought in the UK Karate team (as infrequently as I could!) - until they retired me as a veteran at 30 -- that was a horrible feeling.
Surprisingly - since Karate was my No. 1 art, Aikido turned out to be best, because it means I can defend myself and those less able without hurting the assailant (although there's always a choice).
Oh, and I'm very happy - but who wouldn't be, writing about heroes?
Episode 5 - Regret's Siege
A Bitesize 1-hour read. Soldiers - Season 1: Episode 5: Regret's Siege
Our Hero, Regret, and his squad track the deadly Big Bertha to Maubeuge, a small town on the Belgian - French border.
It should be a quiet little place, except the German VII Army and thousands of artillery pieces are besieging the town and its ring of forts!
Episode 1 - Calum's Exile
Season 2, Episode 1. Clan: Calum’s Exile
A Bitesize 1 hour Read.
Season 2 kicks off at a cracking pace!
Cumberland’s army, fresh from their easy victory at Culloden, is running amok right across the Highlands.
And against the systematic slaughter ordered by the king, our heroes Calum Maclean and Big John Mackintosh must make a dash for Glasgow to find passage to the New World, or die trying.
Episode 4 - Regret's Fury
Deep behind enemy lines with the lieutenant dead, Regret must rely on his own wits and courage to stop the massive gun before it can rain death down on his comrades.
But Hauptmann Heinrich Schiller stands between him and his objective, and Schiller is a stone killer who thinks nothing of murdering women and children to help his cause. And just because he likes it.
Episode 3 -The Assault on Creech
Ethan has to prove to the disbelieving commander of Creech Airforce Base that his base is wide open and an easy target for a terrorist attack.
All he has to do put the man’s toy fighter jet back on his desk, with the camp on full alert.
Ethan is ex-Special Forces so this should be a walk in the park. But Faraj has other plans.
The quiet night is about to turn into hell on earth.
Episode 3 - Regret's Flight
A Bitesize 1-hour read. Soldiers - Season 1: Episode 3
Another blistering episode with Regret leading his now depleted squad into the town of Charleroi in search of the German guns.
What they find makes their mission even more vital. And even more impossible.
But Regret will not walk away and leave his commanders at the mercy of these massive guns.
Clan: Season 1 Box Set
Complete Season 1 following Calum Maclean's adventures as he tries to keep out of the Bonnie Prince's war with the English, but is drawn in again and again by his refusal to walk away from injustice.
13 Episodes from the start of the rebellion to the blood on Drummossie Moor.
Episode 2 - Predator Nest
A Bitesize Read - the first 1 hour read.
Season 1, Episode 2. The Hellfire Legacy: Predator Nest
With four US military officers assassinated, Marine Master Sergeant Ethan Gill heads for Creech Airforce Base – the home of the Predator drone - and its Hellfire missiles.
There’s no way he could know what is waiting for him.
And if he did? He’d go anyway.
Faraj has promised to kill many more
A Sound marketing strategy:
Important: “Always read the fine print when you contract with the Devil.”
The people of Benton should have heeded this advice!
Episode 2 - Regret's Bridge
Soldiers: Season 1 - Episode 2
Behind enemy lines with only 14 men, it is a desperate mission, but one that cannot fail or the war will be lost in its first few days.
Regret and his squad have survived the slaughter at Mons, but the slightest mistake now and they will all be dead.
Regret's Mission - Genre: Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe
Soldiers: Season 1 - Episode 1 - 1-hour Bitesize Read
When Regret marches with his regiment to Mons they don't know they are 80,000 facing an army of 500,000 men.
Staggering away from the carnage, Regret is given the most important and dangerous mission of his life. One that could change the course of the war to end all wars.
Regret is going to need all his skill and courage to survive
The Call - inspired by the great Lee Childs
A Bitesize Read - the first 1 hour read.
Season 1, Episode 1. The Hellfire Legacy: The Call
Marine Sergeant Ethan Gill is a hero — the real thing — a battle-hardened veteran of wars across the globe, with a sense of humor that would cut glass.
He’d retired to the ‘good life’ but now he’s working with the FBI – there will be trouble!
Season Finale - Part 2: Calum's Culloden
The Duke of Cumberland is marching north through Scotland with 9,000 men, determined to end the rebellion once and for all.
Against these 9,000 rested, trained and well-fed soldiers stand less than 4,000 exhausted and starving highlanders.
Calum and John are waiting with the highlanders on Drummossie Moor, but they are there for Colonel York, for the final reckoning.
Episode 11 - Calum's Retreat
Another Bitesize Read. Clan, Episode 11 - the penultimate 1 hour episode following our hero, Calum Maclean.
Calum and Big John desperately chase Colonel York, who has finally captured the prince and is taking him to London to hang.
The prince and the rebellion live or die on their next move.
Episode 10 - Calum's Stand
Sent by Lord Elcho, Calum and John must slow down the Duke of Cumberland's advance to give the Highland army time to escape north to Scotland.
The Duke of Cumberland is racing north with a 1000 of his best cavalry. Calum is in command of 300 irregulars given the grand tile of The Manchester Regiment.
Outnumbered 3 to 1, their chances of success are slim. Their chances of survival less than that.
Episode 9 - Calum's Promise
Calum races to Moy Hall to confront York's spy before the order to kill Jamie can be executed.
What he discovers would shake any man's belief in truth and love.
York plans to assassinate the prince and collect the bounty, and Calum and John walk right into the action again.
A Whisper of Armageddon
Wounded in Afghanistan, hobbling on crutches and his military career over.
So why would Harry Thorne take on the new Russian threat? How will he survive against so many professional killers? And what is the shadowy Al Qaeda terrorist’s game?
Rob takes every liberty in the book in his job as concierge at the 5 star hotel Pentwynd. But when Posh & Becks turn up, he sees a chance to make some real money. He sets out to take some photos he can sell to the papers... easy enough. But nothing ever goes right in the nutty world he inhabits. A lol funny escape from everyday life.
Toeing the Line
Nick is indispensable in the machine shop - he's the only one who can fix the junk machinery, and he milks it for all it's worth. He 'help' his manager fix a broken production line, with hilarious consequences... that is if you don't mind the boss getting brained by his own stupidity! Great fun and a great escape from the world...
Rob works for Global Air Lite and as usual there's nothing happening at the check-in desks. So he decides to liven things up, as usual. With calamitous results, as usual. Laugh out load funny and great a escape from 'normality'.
Episode 8 - Calum's Capture
Calum is captured by Colonel York and chained below decks on the frigate Sheerness. He is to be used to trick the rebel ship, Prince Charles, into heaving to without a fight, so York can seize the 30,000 in gold she is carrying. He is beaten and grieving for John, who has been shot and lost into the sea. If he doesn't pull himself together, the Prince Charles will be lost with all hands.
Episode 7 - Calum's Gold
Calum and John ride to Newcastle to rob the English army payroll. The trick is to steal the gold and get away without anyone knowing the gold has gone. And if they're successful, they get to keep a thousand guineas of it. With only ten heavily armed guards, it should be a easy. Except York knows they are on their way.
Episode 6 - Calum's Plan
Calum Maclean has been order to take out the cannon Colonel York has set up to ambush the Prince's army. Lord Elcho believes in him. So much so, he sends him to neutralize the five cannon alone. Calum and John against York's division and forty battle-hardened artillerymen. He has no plan, but that isn't going to stop him trying.
Episode 5 - Calum's Warning
Our hero, Calum Maclean, races to warn the Prince that Colonel York is waiting to ambush his army as it heads into England. Bonnie Prince Charlie has two thousand men against York's two hundred. But York has five cannon set up along the road. The rebel army will be slaughtered. Unless Calum can get there in time. A real nail-bitter of an Episode!
Episode 4 - Calum's Rage
Our hero, Calum Maclean, races to save his young nephew from the hangman's noose. York has failed to capture Calum so drags away his nephew to be hanged as a rebel. Calum against 200 English infantry. Another blistering action and adventure episode.
Episode 3 - Calum's Gamble
Our hero, Calum Maclean and his twenty highland soldiers are trapped between an English column and the Campbells. Only Calum's audacious gamble can save them. If he wins, they all live. If not, they all die. The odds couldn't be higher. Adventure and excitement at its best.
Episode 2 - Calum's Call to Arms
Episode 2 of the Clan Series. Calum and Big John must risk the English patrols to bring back Jamie, Calum's young nephew, who has sworn to kill York for the murder of his mother and father. To have any chance of staying alive, Calum must accept a commission into the Bonnie Prince's army.
Calum's Sword - Inspired by the great Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe
Clan: Season 1 - Episode 1 The first bitesize read following a true hero in a time of war.
Calum Maclean returns to the Highlands from the war in Flanders to find Bonnie Prince Charlie is at war with the English.
Everyone thinks Calum will obey the Pretender.
Everyone is wrong. Calum Maclean tips his hat to no man.
The journey has begun!
Eden's Last Hero
This story has wizards, dragons, demons, vampires, werewolves and all sorts of monsters…
Lucid’s army has invaded Eden and the Guardians need a hero to help them fight the tide of monsters unleashed on the Triple City.
They choose Dylan, an overweight, work-shy, drunken layabout with a total disregard for authority in any guise.
Not a great choice then.
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