I've always been a scribbler as far back as I can remember. The Doomsday Legacy is my first published novel but not the first I have written. In fact I have a number of half written attempts that have been pushed aside over the years as my 'proper job' demanded more and more of my time.
I remember my first completed novel, 'The Song of the Nightingale'. It was my attempt at the great spy novel, a sort of homage to the 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold' (still one of my all-time favourite books). It was a gritty spy story set in Berlin, amidst the chill of the cold war. Unfortunately, as I was typing the last pages, they were bulldozing down the Berlin wall, so that one melted pretty quickly and never saw the light of day. Still, writing is what you are, not what you do. It's never going to go away, so you just keep on trying.
As a young, Naval Radio Officer, then as a computer specialist for a multi-national company, I travelled the world and serviced many military, secret research and laboratory installations. When I started out as a computer engineer, all the military and secret installations in the south of England were on my patch: Porton Down (the Government bio-warfare laboratories), AWRE (Atomic Weapons Research Establishment), and Marconi Space and Research Laboratories, just to name a few. Whilst living in Eastern Europe, I came in contact with the real life Russian Mafiya and shady characters dealing in dodgy 'semi-precious metals' - a euphemism for anything coming out the back door of former Soviet military installations.
‘The Doomsday Legacy’ reflects my love of a good story and a belief that a good story requires authenticity, in character, place, and premise. To achieve this I have not only relied on meticulous research but on my own personal experiences working around the world in many fascinating and often sensitive environments. All the towns, streets, train journeys, hotels, and bars in ‘The Doomsday Legacy’ actually exist, and most importantly, many of the characters as well. I’ve been there - I’d like to take readers there too.
But research only puts the authentic flavour into the story, and as every good chef knows, salt and pepper are best applied with a dash here and a dash there. The authenticity in a story is important, but it is really just backdrop and setting. Stories start and end with characters, people with lives, loves, hopes and fears. And, in all good thriller stories, our hero's lives are threatened. Against all the odds, they have to find something within themselves in order to make it through. Their actions enact the plot, make the twists and turns as they struggle to survive. That's what I love about finding stories, finding the characters, letting them lead me on the journey to find the story's end.
I am currently working on another novel ("The Foo Sheng Key"), partly inspired by the 7 years I spent living in South East Asia, in Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Currently my hero, a 12 year old, novice, Buddhist monk, is stuck up the side of a mountain in the depths of Southern Tibet, with the Chinese and a group of rogue agents from the CIA, all trying to kill him - and I need to get him out of there out of there.