1 Tell us your biography in three sentences or fewer.
Born and brought up in Edinburgh, including going to university there to qualify as a doctor. Studied radiology in Edinburgh and Oxford, then worked for the NHS in Dartford for 39 years. On retirement moved to south-west London to live on a houseboat on the Thames.
2 How and when did you begin writing, and what was your first published piece?
As a long time reader of SFF I had speculated about writing it for years but did nothing about it. That changed about 2005 because I read one book I thought was so bad that I said ‘I could do better than that’. Having said that I obviously had to do something about it so I started going to creative writing evening and weekend classes. After retirement I discovered there was an MA course at Middlesex with a specific focus on SFF, got a place on that and started being serious about writing. After many rejections I finally sold my short story Missing Apocalypse to Mad Scientist Journal.
3 What’s so special about writing speculative fiction?
Writers like Aaronovitch, Anderson, Banks, Bester, Bujold … (the list goes on and on all the way to Zelazny) … have entertained and stimulated me so much over the years that the idea of being part of a similar list for other people is a very attractive one. I can’t, being realistic about it, hope to match these giants of the field, but I can try and it gives me immense satisfaction whenever an editor says ‘yes’ to something I’ve written.
4 What life skills and experiences, other than writing, do you bring to your work?
I think my life skills have developed as a result of my professional career. This required a willingness to learn, attention to detail and an analytical approach to the problems I was presented with. I believe these have been valuable in my writing.
5 Tell us about your most recent publication or current writing project
My third novel Thiever (a sequel to my second) has been accepted for publication by Elsewhen Press. Hopefully it will be published sometime this year. I have started work on another fantasy novel.