Like most of the characters in the book, I was born in County Mayo, Ireland. My family moved to Coventry, England when I was very young and they were responsible enough to bring me with them.
My wife and I moved down the road to Northamptonshire about 20 years ago.
For 30 years I taught, for a short while in Secondary Schools and more substantially in Further Education.
A cliche is required: writing has been a lifelong ambition. Every summer during my own time as a pupil in secondary education, my mother bought me a new fountain pen to start the academic year. Examining each pen, I would wonder if this was going to be the pen I would write my first book with. Then someone invented laptop computers. My first book has now been written. No fountain pen involved.
The idea for The Ditcher comes from long-past discussions with my father, who did drive one of the machines. I only wish I had taken detailed notes.