I am 55 years old. Funny age. I finally feel grown up. Children – I have two – are adults. I enjoy being needed by them but celebrate their independence when I am not. My parents don’t need me yet. They tell me that they’ll let me know.
I am grammar school educated, firmly middle class from a time when we were told that mattered. I was far from a dedicated and talented scholar. Art interested me greatly and, if I had an inclination, it was toward that. And so I diverted to art college and vaguely targeted a career in graphic design. Not good enough. Not original enough.
Naturally, I chose merchant banking instead.
I spent thirty years in finance. The City. Once revered; now maligned and despised. I offer it ambivalence now but it has been greatly valuable to all of us and we must be wary of allowing our spite to create a regrettable void.
I left in 2008. Before the collapse of Lehman Brothers. I like to pretend I foresaw the cataclysmic disintegration, but I didn’t. I left because I was increasingly detached from that which I recognised. And I recognised that detachment in others.
I moved to Somerset, to a hill and to peace.
So to writing. Throughout my City career I wrote. I wrote reportedly amusing analysis. I composed what might nowadays be called a blog. It received warm reviews. Still, that’s a long way from that to writing professionally.
I love language. Perhaps because of a non-academic background, I find I am not constricted. I obey the rules I understand and agree with but am arrogant (or ignorant) enough to flout others. So I play with words here and there; sometimes I invent derivations. I have fun. My daughter would sit for hours at the piano, patiently mastering Disney themes. She refused the lessons offered explaining that they would take away the fun. I get that now.
Still, we can’t just wing it. I do have a passion for precision. I recoil from sloppy or lazy prose. I intend to write distinctly individual books. That is to say you should not expect the next to be a sequel – in content or pace. I promise you it will not be. Nor the one after that. Both are complete.
They are not entirely without commonality, however. They will be descriptive up to a point. My mantra, should I be pompous enough to imagine I have one, is that my books will make you think. They will leave enough unsaid to allow you to imagine for yourself. I may give you physical dimensions of a character, the pervasive sense of a space, the almost indescribable perception of feeling but the rest is up to you.
In The Goose Samaritan the characters are mostly fictional. I hope you can find enough familiarity to transpose your own acquaintances onto them. That way, the book is brought even more to life.
See you what you think and let me know.