Very Cluttered, except when Valda tidies it up and hides everything.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing in 1984 at about the time of the fortieth annivesary of D Day. At that time there were many veterans of the Second World War still alive. I loved interviewing them although they were, at first, very reluctant to give details of their experiences. None of them saw themselves as heroes and very few poeple were interested in what they had to say. I found them all fascinating.
Who are your favorite authors?
I suppose in the military sphere I enjoy the books of Laurence Rees and Antony Beevor most of all. Their books show events of the Second World War in a way that catches a living sense of history. Both include so many eye-witness accounts of the period that we are able to fully understand the precarious nature of life in a time of war. For relaxation I turn to modern American crime fiction and there is no finer writer of that genre than Michael Connelly. My daughters know that the latest Michael Connelly book is always at the top of my Christmas wish list. For the shear joy of experiencing great writing I turn to Hilary Mantel, with Wolf's Hall and Bring Out The Bodies being two of the most satisfying books that I have ever read.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Enjoying life with my family. Valda and I love to cruise and living in Southampton, the premier cruise port of Great Britain, we always try to cruise a few times each year. I also love being with my grandchildren, although now as they grow up they have different ideas than mine as to how they might spend their own time (quite right too!) but they endulge me with kindness. I am also a lifelong supporter of Southampton Football Club and together with Adam and Joseph we watch all of their home games from our seats in the stands.
Can you remember your first book?
Yes, very well. After I had been travelling around Europe I came home to no job and no money. I attended interviews for quite high profile positions, but the whole process was very drawn out and few jobs really interested me. In my spare time I turned to writing and produced a little book call 'Come and Meet My friends.' It was about all my 'mates' and myself and our individual peculiarities. It was humorous, never spiteful, and went down very well with them all. I illustrated it with photographs, often augmented with drawings, which showed us all in strange situations. It was never published, nor was it meant to be, but it did have a wide local circulation amongst friends of friends and friends of friends of friends. Although I say it myself, it was well received everywhere and people thought it hilarious. Then I had to settle down and earn my keep and so re-entered the world of having to work for a living
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Born and bred in the railway town of Eastleigh in Hampshire. Within thirty miles of the town were the birthplace of aviation in England, Farnborough, the home of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth and the home of the British Army in Aldershot, so it is no surprise that my main interest in life has always rested in all things military..
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy has always been holding the finished product in my hands knowing that all the work is over, although now it is seeing the book on the home page of Smashwords!
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.