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It was almost ten years ago when my alcoholism was beginning to near its worst that a friend said I needed to write a novel about what was happening to me, as it was unique amongst the small circle of foreigners we lived amongst. He was a colleague of mine who lived next door teaching also in China, and after every momentous (and disastrous) weekend I would have a story to tell him, which he said should be fashioned into the chronicles of Richard's crazy weekends. A year later I did begin to write, going back to the start of my time in China, and dealing primarily with my affliction, alcoholism. So, the account was begun when my drinking was at its worst, and contains a completely honest and living version of my suffering as well as my fond memories. It is only recently that I decided to edit the manuscript gathering dust on my laptop, resulting in 'Love, China and Alcohol', an authentic record of my adventures, or rather misadventures, in China. I don't think it would be hyperbolic to say that writing it saved my life, as it was my mainstay, my mission, and when life offered no hope because of the consequences of my lifestyle, then I always had a companion in writing. So began a passion, and an outlet for all other passions, for I believe that everyone has the right to record this life, to put their stamp on it, to express their views, and so I have. I'm English, from a classic working class background, and this manifests itself in all of my writing, although the themes of love, power, sadness, poverty, greed, comedy and hope are universal. In Steamy Windows, a collection of short stories, I strove to appeal to these themes and our common humanity amidst a modern urban British backdrop, but always with a view to entertain, so that hopefully my writing is not only descriptive, but prescriptive. My favourite branch of writers are of the Russian school, Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, and Gogol, to name a few, and I think this may also come out in my writing as I love the quirky and bizarre, a particular feature of Gogol's. Bearing this in mind, my final short story anthology, 'And So May the Wonders Unfurl', is a homage to the bizarre, the wondrous and the horrific, not forgetting the comic, of course. My next project will be a full length novel. I thank any of you who have taken the time to read, and wish that my writing has entertained you as much as it entertained me in writing it.