I was a market and social researcher, and had my own market research agency with 35 staff. But I really wanted to write a book like the books I loved when I was young - Ludlum, Wilbur Smith, Alistair Maclean...
So, when my kids were almost finished school and I had the opportunity to sell my business, I decided to give it a go. Also, a couple of friends’ health scares made me realize I didn’t want to die wondering if I could write the action thriller I had always dreamed about... So I took the plunge, just as I had when I started my own company. I’m single-minded on a task (so my wife says). Once I put my mind to it, I just wrote. And wrote. The plot and characters sort of evolved, as I attended writers' courses and learned about creative writing.
My experience in social and market research has allowed me to develop a deep understanding of the motivations of people, and I've tried to apply this in my writing.
I submitted my manuscript before it was at its best, I think, and it was rejected by about twenty agents and publishers. Later, I was told by an agent that out of 120 novels submitted to him at Thrillerfest, about 85 were about terrorism. They were looking for something fresh. Still, I wasn’t going to have my work sacrificed, so (thanks to Amazon) with self-publishing considered a viable route for both new and published authors, I decided to publish it myself. I’m glad I did. With the industry in its current state of turbulence, there are many authors out there waiting for a publisher or agent, who will die before they find one. The world of publishing has changed dramatically in the last three years.
When I'm not writing, I enjoy traveling, researching technology and technical detail, and chatting with eccentric people who inspire my characters.