I’m the author of the two Raven trilogies: Chronicles of The Raven and Legends of The Raven, and the epic fantasy duology, The Ascendants of Estorea. Ravensoul, was the final installment in the Raven saga. I’ve just published the final book in the Elves trilogy and I’ve written two novellas, Light Stealer and Vault of Deeds.
The story to-date (May 2013)
I emerged with the traditional kicking and screaming on 15th March 1965, shortly after midday.
Family and home
I lived in Felixstowe, Suffolk for eighteen years in the same house with the same set of parents (Thea and Keith) two sisters (one older, Nancy, one younger, Virginia) and one older brother, Mike. We lost our wonderful Dad in January 2013 and though we miss him terribly, we know he lived a wonderful life and we owe him so very much.
I am, and will always be, an Ipswich Town FC supporter.
The writing starts
Writing came from a love of reading. I was introduced by brother Mike to Sci-Fi and Fantasy after reading every Biggles book there is, beginning in my early teens. Creativity developed through consuming books and through long years of role playing games in both genres (plus a fantastically entertaining wild west game called Boot Hill) and I’ve been scribbling since the age of eleven – it’s my favourite hobby. I will forever feel honoured and lucky to be paid for indulging in it. Early avid reads included Tolkien, Aldiss, Heinlein, Alan Dean Foster and Moorcock. There were many more.
The early stories
First of any length at age 13. It was and is utterly awful. For the record, the story is called “Troja: Dawn”. I’ve still got it.
Second came a vaguely sci-fi/fantasy fusion. Its very pompous title is “What Price, Civilisation?” It was an improvement on the first (not difficult), written when I was 15 and the body count is far lower. I’ve still got it.
At 18, I went off to Sheffield City Polytechnic to study Electronics Control and Design Engineering and for two weeks I sat in lectures and didn’t understand a word that was said. So, rather than leave, I changed from science to arts and took up Communication Studies. I carried on writing and had a short story published in a local journal. There was also another book on the typewriter…
Being an actor
By the end of my course, I’d decided to become an actor so I ambled off to London to do a post graduate course in Performing Arts. By the end of that, I’d made lifelong friends but had also grown cynical about the business.
Still, I joined forces with one of those friends and earned my Equity Card (mainly because the Principal at the drama school said I’d never get it). Since leaving, I’ve done some walk-ons and the odd student film and a whole lot of amateur dramatics (some of which I’m proud of). Now, at 48, I’m trying to forge a career as a professional actor again to go hand in hand with my writing. So far, so good… I’m building a portfolio working with students and indie film makers and absolutely loving working with actors and crews again. I’m looking to do professional work once again.
That next manuscript
This was the first full length one and had its roots in the earlier sci-fi/fantasy fusion. I drafted it three times, I think and submitted it around the place. It’s called The All-God’s Gift. I’ve still got it. Maybe I’ll look at it again some day.
The working years
They started at 23. First and worst job was as a parcel delivery driver. I lasted nine weeks. Next have come three financial/investment jobs, ending up as Advertising Manager for Insight Investment, the job I left in March 2004 to write full time.
Published at last – what a feeling
I never stopped writing and submitting and in May 1998 the call came through: I was going to be published. I was at the office and it was a surreal moment, one of those you never forget. The next best feeling is seeing your book on a shelf for the first time – absolutely incredible. Lump in the throat stuff. That was Dawnthief, first book of six, now seven, about The Raven.
Since then, Noonshade, Nightchild, Elfsorrow, Shadowheart and Demonstorm have been written on and off the London Underground.
After finally managing to give up the office life in March 2004, I have written the epic fantasy duology The Ascendants of Estorea and two novellas, Light Stealer and Vault of Deeds. This latter is my first foray into comedy, by the way, and it was an absolute blast. Check out the bibliography page for more. The very last Raven novel was Ravensoul and I’ve recently published Elves: Once Walked With Gods which is the first in a new trilogy charting the history of the elves of the Raven’s world.
Now and the future
I am extremely happily married to Clare (getting on for eight years now) and we live in Teddington which is a town to the south west of London surrounded by things like the River Thames and the wonderful open space of Royal Bushy Park.
Our world was made wonderful by the arrival of Oscar James on 25th January 2007. Joy is the word to describe being a dad. That and exhaustion… And, since we felt that exhaustion was a GOOD THING, we thought a second child was a great idea. Actually, it was a great idea. Oliver Dylan was born on 8th June 2011 and he has made us complete. A force of nature and a fabulous brother for Oscar.
We’ve got a dog too… Mollie, a Hungarian Vizsla. I’m not, or I didn’t think I was, a dog person and I had to be convinced to go for it but I wouldn’t be without her (yes, yes I know she won’t live forever but you know what I mean).
Having finished the Elves novels, I’m planning some new sci-fantasy books that at I’m very excited about as well as working on a Young Adult series I hope will go far, and a historical screenplay based on true events. It’s busy but in an extremely good way.
And when work is done, I get to muck about with my sons and watch them growing up. That’s special, is that.