How much sleep do you need to be your best?
Probably eight hours, but I manage on about five.
Is there anyone you would like to acknowledge and thank for their support?
Yes, my wife Sue, she holds me up when I’m down and keeps me buoyant when I’m unsure. Other than that she does everything to look after me, having said that her cooking leaves something to be desired.
Every writer has their own idea about a successful career in writing, what does success in writing look like to you?
If every person who reads my book enjoys it then I’ve been successful.
Can you tell me about yourself: where you’re from, where you grew up, and what you have done with your life?
I grew up in the slum-lands of 50’s North East England and left school at 15 years of age without any form of qualification. From school I went to work in the local shipyards on the River Tyne. At 19, I went into the merchant navy, drifted, or bobbed, through life until it became pointless, gave it up in favor of working in a quarry in Essex. When I married, I realized my life was plodding along without horizons; it looked bleak. I started studying. After completing O and A levels, I began a degree course and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and computing. The qualification got me a job in the Ford Motor Co. IT dept where I became a project business analyst. I took an early retirement at 50 and that was when I began writing seriously.
How did the idea of the book come to you?
I have relations who lived in ‘The Pale’ (a barren place where the Jewish population was forced to live – think Fiddler on the Roof). They escaped the czarist pogroms in the late 19th century. Some came to England, others to the US and Canada.
Because of them, I looked into Jewish history in Russia and was shocked to learn of the suffering there. But it gave me an idea for a story. However, 19th century Russia didn’t fit. I trawled through Russian/Soviet history until I came to the post-war period. The setting was perfect for me, but I had to take away the protagonist’s Jewish religion. First, to fit in with his military ambitions and also to demonstrate that it isn’t only about religious belief – prejudice is prejudice.
Genre - Thriller, Crime, Suspense
Rating – R
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