After what seemed a lifetime working as a journalist in the UK and Australia, I eventually penned the novel (Done Deal) I had long hankered to write (since childhood almost) but had never found time to start. I was hugely chuffed when it met immediate success by winning a New South Wales Genre Fiction Award. I really could write!
A sequel, Washed Up, followed a year later and that, too, won a NSW Genre Fiction Award but this time there was a bonus – a mentorship (one of only seven awarded for the whole of Australia) from the Australian Society of Authors.
My mentor was highly-esteemed and much-published author Sophie Masson, who was a joy to work with and positive, encouraging and helpful as I progressed with Death By Diamonds, my third book in the series of crime novels featuring Bromo Perkins and all set in the inner Melbourne suburb of Richmond.
Around this time I became immersed in researching my family history and decided it was a story worth telling rather than building a family tree that would sit on my computer. So I turned to factual fiction to tell the enthralling story (From Paupers To iPads) of my search for lost ancestors and their hitherto unknown stories.
All the while I was being kept busy as a professional editor of other writers’ works as well as continuing regular night shifts as a sub-editor on the news desk at the Herald Sun, Australia’s biggest selling daily newspaper.
My other main pursuit is long-distance running. A few years back I broke the Australian age-group record for the half-marathon, becoming the fourth fastest in the world. During a trip to the UK, I became the year’s fastest runner in my age group for the 10km, 10 miles and the half-marathon.
I have since settled back in Cornwall, where my journalistic career began, written the fourth and fifth Bromo Perkins books, Twisted Trees and Death Comes By Drone, and had all books to picked up by Endeavour Press as e-books.
In 2017 I was one of eight emerging crime fiction writers worldwide selected for a residency at the Centre for Excellence in Banff, Canada, to undergo intensive one-on-one tuition under the guidance of CWA alumni Michael Robotham and Louise Welsh.
Death By Drone was completed towards the end of 2018 when I decided to work with the excellent Design For Writers to redesign the covers of all five books and publish them as paperbacks through Ingram Spark.
In late 2019 I eventually completed my second family history/memoir, Celtic Skeletons, an illustrated sequel to From Paupers to iPads. I have now returned to crime fiction and the sixth Bromo Perkins story is well down the pipeline towards completion.
Meanwhile I continue to lead my age group in the UK running rankings for distances from 3000m to half-marathon and have twice been selected to run for the England Masters team in international events at 10km and half-marathon. .