Q. When did you start writing and what made you have
this urge or wish?
A. As a child I hated reading, for it seemed far too
much work for such little return. My paternal grandmother, who
had had a classical education, tried to force upon me the
wonders of the written word. Poor old girl tried everything
from murder to cartoons. I spitefully ignored her and
continued with my ignorant bliss until, one day, I
accidentally found a sketchbook in which my father, as a
child, had drawn his depiction of the First World War. The
need to tell stories was born.
As time passed, I needed to add words to my drawings and
henceforth discovered the written word far more descriptive
than drawings. I wrote my first real story for a school
project and had it published in some child’s magazine.
Onward and upward, mostly hand written, unpublished but not
unread. Friends and relatives got great giggles from the
scripts, the only reward I needed.
With the advent of computers I managed to ‘save’ my
stories and also to polish them and edit them into proper
works. My first book was a guide to English public houses.
Then I managed to get a novel published in 1996. My greatest
thrill was discovering Arthur Wainwright and e-booksonline…
at last a place I could share my tales with a larger audience.
Q. How many articles, books, stories have you had
published and where? (Names of magazines etc.)
A. My first publication was for a children’s paper…
so long ago, I can’t remember the name. It was a science
fiction story, which I’m sure was very ill informed. My
interests were always somewhat scientific. At school I was
known as the Prof. In the 1980’s I wrote for ‘Channel 99’
an international computer users’ group newsletter…
receiving acclaim from Britain, Australia, New Zealand,
America and even Brazil. In the 1990s, I wrote monthly
articles for the ‘Hamilton Reporter’. On publishing my
first book, I concentrated all my efforts into producing the
world’s greatest story, which I’m sure I eventually will
do. I have written more stories than I can remember; it must
be in the hundreds.
My life, even as a child, has been wild, rebellious and
exciting. I’ve been there, seen it and done it. My father
worked for a branch of the British government and once took me
on a mission to collect a shot-down German ‘plane. I shall
never forget the wonder of meeting this beautiful blond
gentleman with the strange accent. He handed my father a gun
and surrendered himself. I think this must be the event that
made me want so much to write the perfect story.
Q. A little bit about your background. (Age, schooling,
present employment, unusual previous jobs?)
A. Educationally my grandmother knew everything; she
played the piano professionally, she spoke with perfection…
pronouncing her ‘H’ in where, and when. This turned my
stomach and made me wish to be the utmost in ignorance. When
it came to the 11+ I sat and refused to answer any questions
and obtaining the perfect score of zero. A true rebel, I
joined the North Town Gang and became their armourer, making
the bombs necessary to maintain supremacy. How no one got
killed can only be luck. After a few run-ins with the law I
suddenly saw the light. I attended two schools and worked day
and night to get into the Royal Air Force.
Eventually I entered the RAF Boy Entrant scheme and quickly
caught up on my lost education. Extra tuition and classes. I
couldn’t get enough of it. Although I had no love for my
grandmother I had inherited her brain. Her father had been a
playwright, William Bourne, and his blood ran through my
veins. The air force became my greatest teacher and the most
terrible and the most wonderful things happened to me in those
twelve years. With the air force I travelled the world. I
sailed the South China Sea and hunted pirates in the tropical
waters, and flew with 34 Squadron. Along with my wife we lived
in and visited over 22 different countries.
The world seemed quiet after military service but even then
it gave me insight into work open only to a few. I worked in
Canada on secret projects producing and testing weapons for
the British Navy and the US army. Still the rebel, I once
halted a multi-million dollar project because of an argument
with my boss, then single-handedly solved the problem with one
of the weapons.
Still arguing with dunderheaded officials I walked out and
straight into a job with CHCH-TV, a job I loved and settled
down to for twenty-eight years until I retired in August of
I have seen both sides of all the coins. Both the beauty of
art and human understanding and the terror of death and
destruction. Brave men who, in the face of unbelievable odds,
smiled… and cowards who ran and hid. I have been in that
situation where God was so close you could feel his presence.
Four times I have shaken hands with the angel of death and
somehow walked away.
Q. Hobbies (Anything exciting about them?)
A. In my early days I built flying model aeroplanes. I
think I must have built a model of every known type of plane
and some more besides. They all crashed eventually. At school
I built a Dyna-jet motor in the metal shop. This turned into a
science project. Unfortunately, I very nearly got expelled
through this endeavour. The damn thing would not run. I tried
everything, and hundreds of modifications. Unfortunately it
did eventually start and developed immense thrust. As a
result, it took off, carrrying a science desk through a window
doing many thousand pounds of damage to the building.
Whilst in the air force and stationed in the North
Midlands, I took up flying as a hobby. One particular day we
were over Abergavenny at some twenty thousand feet when the
starboard engine exploded. Oil and crap flew everywhere and a
stall siren sounded. The pilot turned to me and said calmly.
"You’d better prepare to bail out." It was then
that I discovered three things very important to me. Firstly,
there are two kinds of fear; ‘Hapless panic’ and ‘something
you can put aside for another day.’ The second was I
discovered was I had no fear of death, and the third was that
I was terrified of heights. Calmly, I told the pilot that I’d
stay by his side no matter what. We made it down safely.
Q. Wishes or ambitions?
A. I suppose my ambition is to please people. I’ve
seen enough death and destruction. I’ve had plenty of
excitement. Now I prefer to live in my own pretend world and
hope that this gives others some kind of thrill. I don’t
like stories or films about aeroplanes. When I see these, my
heart bleeds for those who suffered and died in the air. My
mother often said that I was the kind of person who would
accidentally fall down a sewer and come up with a handful of
gold. I believe if one’s heart is pure then your actions
must be forgivable.
Apart from writing, I read. I usually read one to two books
per month. I wish I could write that many.