I was born on a farm in the Glens of Antrim, in the Northeastern corner of Ireland, an area and a community which has had a major influence on me. There was always humour in our family, particularly on my father's side. On my mother's side, my Uncle Dan was a major influence, with his very funny tall tales and observations. I grew up in Glasgow, where strangers will initiate conversations on the street or in a bar and where everybody is a comedian,or so it seems to me. A bit like Liverpool. It must be the big Irish influence in both cities! Even as a kid I found it difficult to keep a straight face as I saw things happening in the street and on buses and overheard conversations. That and a wild imagination. I can see the funny side of just about anything. It's my default mode.
I spent many years as a management consultant, dealing with both large and small organisations, in cluding the Ministry of Defence. Not much humour there, you might think. You'd be wrong. I was also a member of a British Standards Institute committee for a number of years. Definitely no humour there. I wrote two non-fiction books, the first, "Managing to Survive", a humorous look at management, was published by Javelin Books in the UK and Sterling publishing in the USA. The second book, published by Chapman & Hall , the publishers of Charles Dickens's first novel. (What a pathetic attempt on my part at an extremely tenuous connection with one of the greatest writers ever!) This was a serious book, entitled "The Computerization of Production Management Systems", which of course was for a niche market and sold for years and years.
I then got involved in writing comedy sketches for television and was subsequently commissioned by Thames Television to write a sitcom I had created, "Walt & Charlie". A pilot was made, starring Karl Howman and Bradley Walsh, but the BBC finally chickened out as they saw it as too contreversial. (It was about two guys who share an apartment, one of whom was blind and the other was in a wheelchair). Like so many actors, at the moment, it is resting. I have a number of current projects on the go including a follow up to my novel "The Miracle Man" and also a film script about the young Robert Louis Stevenson, which is currently with the BBC.
Some of the major humorous literary influences on me have been, in no particular order, P G Wodehouse, Ulysses, Whisky Galore, Clochemerle, Our Man in Havana, The Diary of a Nobody, At Swim Two Birds Or anything by Brian O'Nolan, aka Myles na'Gopaleen and Flann O'Brien, and of course The Good Soldier Schweik.
Birth Place: Cushendun, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Accomplishments: I have recently been appointed to the Books Committee of the Writers' Guild of Great Britain.