IN MY OWN WORDS
I left school shortly after my fifteenth birthday after being offered a one year trial period as an apprentice motor mechanic. I had no qualifications, but I had a job! During an indentured apprenticeship, I had the good fortune to be educated at Oxford as well as Cambridge! In reality, it was training at the Morris Oxford and Austin Cambridge car manufacturers in the service and repair of Automatic and Transverse gearbox systems! For many years I was the Honorary Secretary of the Institute of the Motor Industry for the Nottinghamshire region, and an Incorporated Engineer registered with the Engineering Council UK as a Master Automotive Engineer. I taught Engineering Sciences to Foundation Degree students at West Nottinghamshire College and was a Consulting Automotive Engineer called upon numerous occasions to give expert witness testimony in Crown, Magistrates and County Courts. I graduated with PGCertEd from Nottingham Trent University. I lived and worked in Nottingham before moving to North Norfolk with my wife to write fictional novels. We have a son and three lovely grandchildren.
WHY DO I WRITE NOVELS?
I realised that whilst working as a lecturer and consulting engineer I must have written dozens of books worth of boring educational documents, vehicle reports and the like. When I moved to Norfolk I needed to be suitably occupied so decided to write something more entertaining. I took to writing novels. It wasn’t until then that I found I was confronted by the greatest challenge of all; finding a genuine agent - an agent capable of pushing a novel in the right direction for it to be noticed and considered for publication. When I say "publication", I mean publication for a reasonable profit without being "trotted on" by the vanity brigade. However, the advent of the computer has produced thousands if not millions of prospective bestselling authors. Agents must be knee-deep in manuscripts, some brilliant, some good, and others - well ... I'm probably one of them! Yeah, thinking about it I must be one of those who are attempting to bury the poor literary agents in gobbledygook, but to their great misfortune, there's much more to come! Definitely!
HOW DO I SET ABOUT WRITING MY NOVELS?
With regard to progress objectives, I would sooner count chapters per month from a scheme of work than a daily word count. It's probably a hangover from my lecturing days. I know how I want the story to go, so I sketch the plot out roughly and then, working from the SOW, I expand and paint the word pictures in. Composition could be better described as "building" rather than writing a book! I'm not too frightened to scrub large amounts of work if I'm not achieving the objective. This does not set me back in my opinion but sets me on the right path for a wicked twist at the end. I also try to keep my characters memorable and distinct and try not to name too many tertiary individuals. That can tend to confuse the storyline. If talking of a football team it’s not necessary to mention each individual player’s name, only those of the major players! Also, I try not to include too many twists, this can confuse matters and continuity can be lost.
I write from a mixture of imagination, personal experience and research. I like the storylines in my novels to have a feeling of truth, so the events and incidents are all possible if a little fanciful. To that end, I draw from a lifetime of experiences and interweave them with daydreams... sometimes nightmares!