Published poet and award-winning author.
“The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.” (Arthur C. Clarke)
In 2004, I was shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Prize, for the opening chapter of my novel Every Step of the Way. Not only was I dumbfounded but for the next year floated on a cloud, realising I was one step nearer reaching publication. The HB was and still is a well-respected prize specifically aimed at pre-published writers although winning doesn’t necessarily guarantee publication. In 2004 it was administered solely by the MBA agency, the entry criteria being the novel must set at least in part in London but could be in any genre. The first 10,000 words and synopsis were required.I had already written the first three chapters of Every Step of the Way as a sequel to White Stones. It was set in London, its genesis being the killer smog of 1952, so thinking I might do better if I turned it into a saga, after all that’s what Harry Bowling wrote, I cobbled together a storyline. Once the synopsis was written, I thought, “Well, this actually is a good plot” and thus Every Step metamorphosed from a paranormal into a 1950s saga, centred in West London and Gloucestershire and explored the world of coffee bars and teddy boys, gang fights and the plight of women during that era.
I didn’t win but that didn’t matter, just being shortlisted was such a boost to my career and esteem. I jumped the slush piles and found a top literary agent willing to help me find a publisher but, unfortunately, at that time, it seemed publishers were unwilling to take a gamble on an unknown with a “slightly” different perspective on the genre. If it was based in the East End or in, say, Liverpool, it might have been taken up sooner, but then my storyline wouldn’t have worked in other locations, it’s setting is paramount.I later self-published Every Step of the Way, reaching the dizzy heights of No.3 on Amazon for its genre and excellent reviews. In 2020, Whites Stones was published, a romantic mystery concerning a haunting and introducing Filton Shields, an Unexplained Phenomena Investigator. Both books later received Chill With a Book Awards.
I am currently writing Filton Shield’s next case – When Two Worlds Collide, with more following, and a second 1950s London story, Queenie Queenie, is in progress.