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I spent my twenties and thirties travelling – for work and for pleasure – all over the world, in over a hundred countries.
As a soldier, and later as a security consultant, I found myself in a lot of war zones and very remote places that people don’t often get to see. What struck me most profoundly about all of these places I visited were the people, and how they found ways to understand their circumstances, and survive or even thrive in the most difficult situations imaginable.
When I started writing seriously in my forties, I was drawn to stories that were either rooted in or inspired by my experiences in conflict zones. The focus of my writing has been on exploring the ideas of loyalty, friendship, ethics and how power is exercised when formal structures collapse or are weakened. I think these are universal ideas that humanize situations that we might otherwise see as being very foreign or strange. My stories are centred on the human experience.
I was educated at the Royal Military College of Canada, obtaining both an Honours degree in Military and Strategic Studies and a Master of Defense Studies. I’ve also completed a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing from Humber College, and a Master of Arts in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Gloucestershire. I’m currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Gloucestershire, studying English and Creative Writing.
My latest work is a crime novel set in Afghanistan, “Red Warning.”I’ve written two other novels, “This Shall Be a House of Peace” (2019) and “Every Arm Outstretched” (2020) as well as a history, “Blood Washing Blood: Afghanistan’s Hundred-Year War” (2021). I also edited “Mindful of Our Ancient Valour” (2019), an oral history of the Queen’s York Rangers. I’ve also produced a graphic novel, “The Sandbox” (2023), co-written with Jonathan Link and illustrated by Wan Mek. Along with my good friend Matt Lennox, I co-founded the literary journal “Blood & Bourbon,” which continues under new leadership.
Nowadays, I split my efforts between writing my own works and coaching others. I’m blessed to live in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.
Books by Phil Halton
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