There are two parts to my history in both writing and publishing. Both of these have guided me on the writing trade. Some authors have a natural ability to write dynamic, awe inspiring books that you will remember for ever. But even those writers still had to learn the craft of writing. To some it comes easily, to others – like myself – not so. But the one things that keeps us going is enthusiasm for the written word. The enthusiasm for wanting to provide readers of all types with a world in which they can become immersed. And that is my desire. I want my readers to read my books and become immersed in my world, or the one that I invent!
While I was serving as a police officer, and towards the end of my service in the Traffic Division I was provided with training that unbeknown to me at the time would move me into a niche market that made me able to convince publishers of books and magazines that I was the expert in a particular field. The area I am talking about is driver impairment due to drugs, alcohol and other driver impairment. After I retired I set up Blueknight Ltd and spent many years, fifteen in all, providing this expert information all over the world. Unfortunately the lockdown due to the Corona Virus pandemic forced the closure of my company.
I was also fortunate in being one of the first officers, with my crew-mate PC Tony Hunt, to be seen in a ‘fly on the wall’ documentary about policing the motorway. This was transmitted by Anglia TV in the late 90’s and was called ‘The Slab.’ That piqued my interest further in the creative world and I am now trying to turn my first novel into a screenplay!
Up to now the majority of my writing has been non-fiction and I’ve been published as follows: –
Forensic Practice in Criminal Cases, published by The Law Society. (Co-author – Chapter 14 (Drugs, Toxicology and related areas of expertise)
The Encyclopaedia of Forensic & Legal Medicine (1st & 2nd Editions) (Co-author – Chapter – Sobriety Tests and Drug Recognition)
The Field Impairment Testing & Drug Influence Recognition Aide Memoir for Police Officers, now in its 4th Edition
The Police Review (no longer published) – 2 articles on Field Impairment Testing circa 2002 & 2005
The DRE (in the USA) – development of FIT in the UK
Drugs & Alcohol Today June 2007 edition – article on drugs and driving
Drinking & Driving: a road safety manual for decision makers & practitioners. (Principal Co-Author), TRL – Published by The World Bank
ADI News – FIT to drive – September 2013
So after all that non-fiction writing I turned my attention to the world of fiction. Many have asked me why crime fiction, after all I wasn’t a detective, but I did work on some murder enquiries during my time in ‘the job,’ and gained investigative experience as a collision investigator – long before all the hoops you have to jump through now. Fatal collision were, after all, a crime. Procedurally there is no difference to investigating a fatal collision than a murder. You employ the same strategy now. It never used to be like that, but that’s another story.
Anyway, back to my fiction writing. A few years after my retirement, when work was scarce – still is – I turned my attention to crime fiction, writing a murder story that had in all honesty been rattling around my head for more that twenty years and eventually got it down on paper. With some guidance from a published author and mentor and several edits I started to push it out to agents and publishers. As you can imagine expecting an agent or publisher to take on this new guy was, I understand now, a little naive. Nobody was going to take on this guy who nobody had heard of and I’m still trying!
The reason why my second novel has taken such a long time is that I decided to apply for a Masters Degree course in creative crime fiction with the University of East Anglia. I was fortunate to be accepted on the course and the eleven of us were UEA’s inaugural cohort for this discipline. During the two years I had to write another book and ‘Kill Switch’ was the result. I was conferred with the MA in July 2018. But even that, it seems doesn’t float the boat of many agents and publishers.