Find out what made Dave Field like he is
Dave Field was born in 1944, in Barrow-upon-Humber, a village on the south bank of the River Humber in Lincolnshire. His mother, Evelina Joan, lived in the village with husband Donald Field. Dave’s father was a foreman joiner at a small building firm run by one Horace Foster. When Dave was around five the family moved to Barton-upon-Humber, some four kilometres upriver in the same county. When he was ten, his brother, now known as Brian Julian Field, was born. Dave passed what was known in those days as the eleven-plus and was educated at Barton Grammar School—an institution which no longer exists, although some of the buildings still do. At the school he became friendly with John Lacey, and they became involved with the Barton Wheelers Cycling Club, making extensive trips to various parts of England. Strangely enough his favourite teacher at the school was Henry Treece, who was a well-known author. Even more strange, Dave didn’t discover Treece was a writer until forty years later when he’d also become one. At around thirteen years old Dave began work after school as what was known as an ‘errand lad’ spending most of the time on a lumbering old bicycle delivering cartons of groceries to houses around the township. He was employed at the Cooperative Wholesale Society’s supermarket, now long gone from Junction Square in Barton. Anyone who has seen the English comedy program ‘Open All Hours’ and observed Granville on his bike should be able to picture Dave. A couple of years later Dave’s Dad secured a much more rewarding job as the building and maintenance manager at—no connection—the Stafford and Stone Cooperative Wholesale Society in the midlands. The family moved to Stafford and Dave began attending the King Edward the Sixth Grammar School in the town. Despite the high-sounding name the school was a hotbed of bullying—Dave detested the place and got away as soon as he could. A few years later his brother had similar experiences at the same school. Dave’s first full-time employment was arranged by his father, who was desperate to get him working. He became a medical laboratory technician, in the Stafford General Infirmary pathology laboratory. There he encountered blood, organs, bodies and the like, gathering up experiences which often can be seen in his writing. It was the first of a series of unusual occupations. He also met and married his first wife, maiden name Pauline Anne Harris. She was a nurse at the hospital, and originated from the tiny village of Pye Green on Cannock Chase. In 1969 the pair travelled to Australia and after a couple of months working in a milk carton factory, Dave joined the Victorian Public Service as a technical assistant in a hydraulics research laboratory. The work involved data collection throughout the coastline of Victoria and—there being no computers in those days—the construction of coastline models for various simulations, in an enormous water tank. Scale model waves were produced to batter at scale model piers. During this period, Dave trained as a SCUBA diver and became acquainted with small boats, four-wheel drive vehicles and concrete mixers. Early in 1973 he transferred to the Marine Studies Group of the Victorian Ministry for Conservation, as a technical officer supervising field and laboratory work. It was a change from coastal hydraulics to marine environmental investigations. He worked in Port Phillip Bay, Westernport, the Gippsland Lakes, and the Bass Strait. Along the way he parted from his wife. He attributes the main reason for this to discovering that Australian women will tell men what they want without mincing words. In 1975 Dave began to work closely on the design and development of special devices of many types for use in the marine environment, with friend and electronic technician Rick Barrow. The pair liaised closely with the marine biologists in the Group. Around this time he met another woman who he eventually married. And eventually he divorced her... On a lighter note he also learned to fly aeroplanes. He became supervisor of marine operations with the Marine Studies Group in 1977, managing between twelve and twenty-five people. It was a complex and rewarding job. He was required to design and cost aspects of projects, and provide field support to sixteen resident research officers, also to researchers from outside organizations. In September 1979, another move. He took a position with the Water Quality Section of the Power and Water Authority, Water Directorate, Northern Territory. He was managing field operations, providing specialist technical advice on equipment and techniques and so on. He worked in Darwin Harbour and in most of the river systems in the Top End of Australia. There he learned about crocodiles, helicopters, remote-area operations and the other fun stuff, such as recreational barramundi fishing. And he met Margi Hine, life partner to this day. Not married, and neither wishes to be. Management throughout the Northern Territory Public Service was becoming chaotic and Dave could see that a serious career change was needed. He decided to learn about writing, and took correspondence courses, at the same time writing short stories and articles. He began writing his first novel, “Profile Three.” In October 1988 he made yet another move, to the Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries, Fisheries Division. Initially it was a disaster, for reasons he glosses over. Basically, although he was employed as Senior Projects Officer, he was faced largely with administrative activities. After a while things shook down and he began working on Aboriginal Land Claims, development of the fishing industry, some aquaculture, environmental liaison work, water quality—and the Division’s Macintosh computer network. At this time he sold his first short story, ‘Citadel’, for publication in Australian Playboy. Dave worked for approximately five years as a part-time freelance journalist and writer. In March 1997 he elected to get away from an increasingly unrewarding public service job to move into a full-time photojournalism and writing career. On 2010 he was an editor for a US book publisher, and he continues writing fiction. He’s never looked back.