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Andrew Puckett is a writer who feels he should experience for himself the trials imposed on his protagonists. Examples are:
Being locked in a freezer room at -40 degrees
Climbing a 1000 foot cliff from a rocky beach in the dark
Encountering the Exmoor Beast (involuntary)
Escaping from a prison ship (not actually incarcerated)
Travelling by train from Didcot to Avonmouth without a ticket (Inspectors don’t rate the excuse: “It’s all right, I’m a writer”.
Before that, he grew up on his parents’ farms, the first in a remote part of Dorset, where his companions were dogs, cows and pigs (there’s a lot to be said for them) the second in the shadow of Salisbury cathedral.
He worked in a brewery, a chemical factory and Porton Germ Warfare Establishment, where he acquired a painful immunity to Plague, Anthrax and Smallpox (which did at least give him the idea for his novel Going Viral). He then worked in various hospital labs in Taunton, London and finally Oxford, where he ran the microbiology department at Oxford Blood Transfusion Centre for fifteen years.
Why write? He always loved reading and books, and a chance find of a tatty copy of Miss Marple and the Thirteen Problems aged ten led to an abiding love of whodunnits. The urge to write them himself grew from about the age of seventeen and he wrote short stories and started a novel. Then he met his first wife, and the desire to write was subsumed by a healthy marriage. When she died, he turned back to writing.
While working for the Blood Transfusion Service, he heard about the theft and illegal sale of blood abroad, which gave him the idea for his first novel, Bloodstains. This was published by Collins.
Then it occurred to him there were plenty of areas in the National Health Service that afforded opportunities for criminals, and he set to making money out of them, only honestly. He has since published fifteen novels.
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