I’ve earned my living as a professional writer since the mid-1990s. Before this I’d had over 50 jobs, including freight train guard, Immigration Officer, rat-catcher, gardener, bookmaker, window-cleaner, house-painter, barman, lab assistant and as a racecourse bookie.
I write mostly non-fiction: history, travel and biography. I have ghosted autobiographies for a drug smuggler, a policeman, a professional cricketer, a bounty hunter and a craft brewer. I’ve written 30 full-length books, 200 TV scripts (BBC 1’s Vets In Practice and Holiday Reps and BBC2’s award-winning series, Love Is Not Enough. I’ve also written for Britain’s No. 2 soap, Emmerdale) and a radio play (The Cowboy and the Tenderfoot for BBC Radio 4).
My main interests are food (growing it, cooking it, eating it), the American West, particularly the Nebraska Panhandle, where I lived for six months in a hunting lodge, and football. In 1997 I wrote a book about Manchester United’s most humiliating defeats and sold it outside Manchester City’s ground. I’m fascinated too by Beat Literature, and in 2004 I was the Jack Kerouac writer in residence in Orlando, Florida.
My latest publication is a novel, Cody, The Medicine Man and Me (Ouen Press). Next up is the life of Eric Knight, Yorkshireman, novelist, spy – and the man who wrote Lassie.
For many years I have read and assessed non-fiction mss for The Literary Consultancy (Britain’s first and best) and in 2015 I ghosted a full-length sci-fi novel for an eccentric Chinese billionaire.