Paul Mendelson began writing at school, when he should have been doing other things, but writing and debating prizes followed. On leaving school, he ran a fringe theatre company, performing classic plays, his own new writing, and revue shows. From there, he moved to the National Theatre, first front-of-house, then as an assistant director and, finally, as a playwright. At the age of 21, his play, You’re Quite safe With Me was performed at the Cottesloe Theatre, making him then, the youngest writer performed at the National Theatre.
Over the following years, Mendelson concentrated on non-fiction work, producing a dozen titles on mind-sports such as bridge, poker and casino games, as well as a weekly column on bridge for the Financial Times. He has also interviewed business leaders and embarked on travel writing for the FT, as well as contributing on diverse subjects to many publications, here in the UK, the US, Australia and South Africa.
During this time, Mendelson also wrote Across the Veldt – a monologue about the political and cultural transitions in South Africa, and numerous short stories. Having attempted several novels over the years on varying subjects, he returned to his first love, crime fiction and, after various twists and turns, emerged with The First Rule of Survival, snapped up by Constable & Robinson.