Mike had worked in sub-Saharan Africa for over 25 years, and in south and east Asia for another 25 years. He was an expert in the development of livelihoods for disadvantaged farmer families, who often live in remote and mountainous areas.
Mike has now retired and has written three historical novels, and has just completed another based on the family of the Emperor Quang Trung, who is still revered all over Vietnam.
1. What was your work before you started writing?
I worked as a consultant in projects that were planned to alleviate poverty for poor and disadvantaged farmers and more recently how to develop their sustainable livelihoods. These farmers often lived in remote and even mountainous areas. In Asia I worked in the Swat valley in Pakistan, in the north west of Sri Lanka, and now in several provinces in Vietnam, and before that I worked in sub-Saharan Africa.
2. What prompted you to start writing?
I wanted to read the history of those countries in which I was working, and often that written history was difficult to find. But, along the way I came across many anomalies, such as the English medical doctor in Afghanistan who in the 19th century wrote a textbook on their language, Pashto, which is spoken across a lot in Afghanistan and across the north west of Pakistan even today.
This exciting novel was written by a man who lived and worked in colonial Rhodesia in the 1930s, and he wrote about the things that he knew at that time. Ranching and mining were being attacked by international insurgents with an ulterior motive.
A body of a young scientist is found in a Top Secret laboratory, and the Police investigation is hampered by the cloak of secrecy – until an unexpected stroke of luck comes their way, but nobody expected the international ramifications that followed.
The story of the Emperor Quang Trung and the role played by his wife Princess Le Ngoc Han. The military expert defeated two invaders, and united the country, but died too soon – as his wife lamented and wrote some of the most stirring poetry in Vietnam.
There’s Fungus on the Mushrooms – or, if something can go wrong it will!
The autobiography of a man who lived through turbulent times in Asia, Africa and then back to Asia. There’s horror, humour and excitement and most of all enjoyment all in one package!
Prizewinning Adventure Novel! Robert Knox’s escape from Ceylon in 1679.
The captain and crew of a sailing ship are tricked and then held captive for 20 years, until three of them escape, and write their story. In 1681 his original book may have been the inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe written ten years later.
SINAGIRI the castle built on the top of a rock probably in the 6th century – the origin of the ladies and the Frescoes painted on the rock face of the Hall of Mirrors at Singiriya in Sri Lanka.
A history story with an exciting addition – the 4th wife of the Rajah!