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A Brief Bio

Life for me started in Barnes, West London in in the aftermath of WW2. During my early years, Eagle Comic, Saturday morning flicks at thrupence and post-war food rationing were very much part of the landscape. An Eleven-Plus failure, my parents paid for private education, a complete waste of their money, and I left school at sixteen without any qualifications and with absolutely no career aspirations.

At primary school I enjoyed writing essays, though my spelling and grammar was pretty grim. One of these essays still survives: The Mysterious Ghost. (Don't hold your breath).  Aged eight, and with Christmas looming, I wrote a simple poem comprising rhyming couplets called, aptly enough, A Christmas Poem.  My grandfather submitted it  to the junior Poets Corner of a local paper, who paid me one guinea – with which I bought a Bakelite recorder, a simple woodwind instrument.  But several days later it broke in two when I dropped it in the playground - Bakelite just isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. And my literary aspirations took a holiday. My first job was with a Vauxhall main dealer in Kingston, but I wasn’t cut out for the motor trade and moved on to WD and HO Wills in Holborn. Evidently I wasn’t cut out for the tobacco industry either and got the heave-ho after nine months. I clearly remember a certain Mr Hatch

in Personnel imperiously announcing; ‘I’m afraid I shall have to ask you to leave’, and then adding in patronising tones, ‘Have you thought about joining the Army?’ And pigs will fly. As the saying goes; ‘When all else fails – lower your standards’ – which I did, and got work on the assembly line of an electronics factory in Acton. Being an electronics hobbyist, things jelled for me there, the company formally training me in their R & D labs. Three years later I moved into broadcast television engineering, and then in the early 1970's, and seeking horizons new, I departed for Melbourne Australia as a Ten Pound POM.

Initially I worked at a local TV station, but a long-term hankering to be professionally qualified re-surfaced, and I enrolled at Monash University full-time, graduating in Materials Engineering four years hence. I stayed on in a paid research role, but twelve months later, and homesick, I succumbed to the call of Old Blighty and headed home.

Ironically, I never practiced as a Materials Engineer per se, choosing instead to branch into Project Management. After two years working for Thorn-EMI on dreary, interminably long MOD projects I went freelance and spent the next 26 years managing commercial IT projects - which was enjoyable and very lucrative.

Aged 59 I reduced my professional workload and looked around for some different challenges. Part of the answer came in getting involved with local charities. Then seemingly out of nowhere, a fictional storyline started to buzz around in my head. Ten months later it saw publication as my first novel, a quirky romantic adventure called Love in Five Dimensions. It drew heavily on all the accumulated trivia swilling around at the back of my mind, and loosely parodied some minor aspects of my own life. Having exorcised the book that ostensibly we all have inside of us, I thought I was done. But the frustrated writer within was on a roll, and Seeds that Kill a murder-mystery, got under way. This was followed by Jack and Friends, an illustrated children's storybook, and then My Mother's Beau, a collection of romantic poems written by my father in the late 1930s when he was courting my mother.

My most recent publishing's is a series of short novels written by ubiquitous man-about-town 'Roland Smith-D'Arcy' under the collective title 'Pulp Library', each novel based on a colourful aspect of life. They're ideal for a bus, plane or train journey, a rainy day at the seaside, or for reading under the bedclothes with a torch.

Beyond that, I'm looking at various biographical projects featuring people who've had prolific, interesting lives - just like you!       

 

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