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A new kind of anti-hero: a freelance journalist specialising in logistics. Seriously? At first I had my doubts, but I soon realised that trucks and freighting offer loads of dramatic potential (as it were) – and so do parcel deliveries, warehouses, press conferences, interviews … and travel. There’s so much opportunity for corporate skulduggery; so much hidden intrigue.
So I started writing. The critics always say, “Write about what you know,” so that’s what I did. My years of freelance writing, editing and publishing in the logistics world had to mean something. When I threw in some vivid characters, lively natural dialogue, and compelling and intricate plots, it all started to make sense.
I also made sure there was a romantic background: woven into the theme if possible, not tacked on as an afterthought; plus occasional shocks and surprises, plenty of pace, and more than a hint of danger. And underlying all this, I wanted to probe the vulnerable points of the leading characters, and expose them to moral dilemmas.
And so the Mike Stanhope Mysteries came into being, featuring an everyday guy contending with unexpected and often daunting challenges, and trying to find order in his sometimes chaotic love life. He’s not me by any stretch of the imagination ... but I know where he’s coming from.
The series has expanded to half a dozen novels now – stand-alones, but with repeating characters and an ongoing story. I’ve also turned my hand to true stand-alone mysteries. The first, Never Going to Happen, was published under the pseudonym Anders Teller (just a whim of mine). The next one will appear under my own name.
As you can see, I’ve always been a writer, though for many years I was turning out press articles, not fiction. I contributed numerous feature articles to publications such as Commercial Motor and Motor Transport, as well as preparing many non-attributed press releases on behalf of suppliers. I went on to edit Distribution Business magazine, then to co-found and edit Fulfilment & e.logistics. These days my transport writing is mostly about the world of passenger transport.
But I had grander aspirations! I sketched the outline for my first novel before I was ten years old. I’m ashamed to admit it took me many years to make that intention a reality, but as you can see, I got there in the end. And what a rich vein that grounding in logistics and transport has proved to be.
I was born and grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne, in north-east England, but I’ve spent nearly all my adult life in London, and feel an honorary southerner now. I live in west London, but I also have connections with the East Sussex coastal town of Seaford, tucked up against the glorious Seven Sisters white cliffs and the spectacular rolling expanses of the South Downs.