Fiction – Children’s
“I was born in Redruth, Cornwall in 1972. After growing up in Camborne I joined the Royal Navy in 1991, serving for 22 years before leaving as a Petty Officer in 2013. In 2007 I started to prepare for life outside of the Forces by qualifying as a fitness instructor. Further qualifications were achieved, and in 2012 I opened my own gym. My love of writing began in secondary school when I won a classroom challenge to write a short story.
I love Cornwall. It will always be home to me. There’s nothing better than its beaches, its air, its woodland and scenery. If I’m feeling stressed, or need inspiration, I can take the dog for a walk on the local beach, and suddenly everything is okay again. That’s also when I do my best ‘people watching’, which feeds right into the characters I create.
I always enjoyed reading bedtime stories to my three children, Amy, Lola and Lewis. I could spend an hour or more reading such books as The Gruffalo and Stick Man – I love the way Julia Donaldson brings her characters to life. I had always wanted to write a novel and so, when my youngest daughter, Lola, asked me to write a 500-word story, I couldn’t say no. This quickly developed into my first full novel, which I self-published and took into schools. It gives me such a buzz when I’m doing a class reading of one of my books, then you look up and the whole room is silent, before the applause kicks in and you get the questions from young readers, eager to find out why I write and if I’m famous.
Hermitage Press are publishing a new novel of mine, my fourth, titled Jack and the Time Machine, which is aimed at middle-grade readers, so 8 to 12 years. At the heart of this children’s story is the relationship between a boy and his grandad. The narrative follows them on a number of exciting adventures through time. It has lots of humour in it, of course, but it has a really strong message, as well, about youth being inspired by the older generation. I’m really excited about sharing it with the world when it’s published in the spring of 2023.
I really like the fact that Hermitage Press is solely for Cornwall-based writers. This appeals to me as an author, as well as the fact that it actively supports a range of local professionals and services. I’m a proud Cornishman, after all, so anything that helps promote those living and working in the region can only be a good thing.”