As well as the growing set of flash fiction here, I write topical spy thrillers. The style is a combination of the Le Carré tradition, Robert Harris’s exploration of history (except I’m exploring modern intelligence practices), and adventure. Adventures, because my stories follow the challenges and emotional journeys of young professionals.
My espionage writing began while I worked in the International Institute for Strategic Studies. I have relied on my love of adventure, eight years of research, and my experience of leading over five hundred people on innovative changes in online publishing and retail.
I have a second novel near completion. And I have two more sketched with sample chapters.
Questions I’ve been asked
Why do I avoid gratuitous violence?
Because I found no need for literary licence. The real world of espionage is even more extraordinary than fantasy.
Where did I learn about espionage?
I taught myself. I study reference books and biographies, I use system dynamics to ‘reverse engineer’ intelligence agencies, and I explore the human impact via my fictional characters.
When did I start writing?
I first started fiction writing in my early teens. I was inspired by a school alumnus, W. Somerset Maugham, and an English teacher who encouraged me to write fiction instead of essays.
Where do the ideas come from?
Everywhere about me. I work out what ideas I need for a project, then go and find them.
Where do I write?
In my period bungalow on the edge of Reading, surrounded by books, music, bicycles and worn out running shoes.
Don’t you worry about censorship from the intelligence services?
No. I write about modern intelligence methods, which is an established area of academic study. I avoid secrets because they limit what I can write.