Having looked at the biographies of many writers of adventure/thriller/spy novels, I am fairly reluctant to give too much information about my past. It is, in comparison, so dull.
I was born in the North West of England six years after the end of The Second World War. Having been educated at state schools, I graduated with a BSc. and, later, a PhD. from The University of Manchester. My entire working career was spent teaching, initially for four years at school level, followed by several years at college level and the remainder at university level. One or two very brief interludes excepted, I enjoyed pretty much every day of my working life. My students and colleagues certainly made sure that no day was quite the same as another!
I decided to retire a little earlier than planned, so that my wife and I could fully take advantage of our ability to travel. During the past few years, we have thoroughly enjoyed visiting the USA twice, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, India, Dubai and countless cities in Europe. We still both believe that is so much more to see and experience!
While I had toyed from time to time with attempting to write a novel, it was never part of my plan for retirement. Indeed, to the extent that I had wondered whether I could do it, I always envisaged writing a 'whodunnit'. All that changed, however, in February 2014, when I read in the press about recently declassified documents which described the wartime activities of a mild mannered bank clerk, Eric Roberts. I was utterly captivated by his story and decided immediately that it would form the basis from which to adapt a really good novel. Of course, my fictional Codename Lazarus has diverged greatly from the exploits of the real Eric Roberts, but I hope I have paid some sort of respects to a very brave and extremely resourceful man.
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of writing a World War Two spy story which was adapted, however loosely, from a little known true story and I decided that, were I to attempt more fiction of a similar type, it would also have to have a kernel of historical fact underpinning it. What do you think? Is historical fiction better, when it is to a certain extent, based on real events? I'd be very interested in your views.