Born in Birmingham, a 'child of the sixties', part of that generation of working class kids encouraged to see continuing education as a real option.
Busked my way through university, followed by a succession of bands before dreams of 'making it' were bludgeoned to death by Punk.
Teaching for forty years in deprived areas of a major city, the experience at times provided a close-up of lives blighted by crime and social ills. More importantly, it more often offered insight into the lives of so many others who daily overcome circumstances that would defeat and overwhelm most of us.
Now writing full time - having taught everyone from convicted murderers and psychopaths through to premier league footballers and Hollywood stars - my novels focus on untold stories and unheard voices.
For me, crime writing offers the opportunity to create compelling narratives that draw the audience in whilst engaging them with wider ideas beyond just the consideration of 'cops and robbers' or even 'right and wrong'. The crime genre provides the possibility to consider many of the issues I feel strongly about, issues that arise from my own inner city roots and my experiences.
The published novel Borderline sets the template.
Set in the social and political turmoil of the 1984 miner’s strike, Borderline tackles such themes head on. Living during that time in and around the Staffordshire mining communities where the novel is set, I have more and more come to see these events as pivotal in defining the modern world – the mistrust of police, the undermining of authority figure, the destruction of local communities and the industries that sustained them. The novel attempts to reveal a time and events that tore the social fabric of Britain and whose ills resonate down to us today.