- Did you always dream of becoming an author?
No. I never had any thoughts of becoming an author until… I received the notes that my father wrote about his childhood years and what happened to him and his brother during the war. I had to investigate and write it down for my children. That was when I discovered how much I enjoyed writing and after the writing a first edition, I decided to turn that book, which was really about his memoirs, into a novel.
2. What was your first job?
Strangely, my first job was in publishing. I thought I was going for a job at a sports shop, but it turned out to be a publishing company. They published five specialist sports magazines and I secured a job selling advertising space. I was not overly excited about that particular job, but did a pretty good job and got on well with the advertising manager, (later to set up in business together), so spent much of my time in the design studio and with the editor. I moved from there into advertising, but my first proper job was in publishing.
3. How did you come about writing your book? Was that your intention or did you start writing for fun?
As I mentioned earlier, it came about by accident really. After discovering my father’s story I wanted to find out more. I wanted to find out about my family. I was lucky enough to be able to travel and do the research. I went to the places he talked of and it was eerie but exciting. My father had passed away several years earlier but his brother was still alive and living in SW Australia. It was the perfect excuse to travel out there and hear what he had to say.
I found out that I enjoyed writing and filling in the gaps in his story. It was huge fun!
4. What was your life like before you became an author?
I spent many years in adverting and publishing. Not books but magazines and promotional literature. I spent a few years in France and became involved in publishing specialist magazines for expatriates living or owning a home in France, which meant I had to regularly write editorials etc. It was interesting but it did not really grab me to write. We also published brochures and various other joint publications with associated businesses. I had no inclination of writing a book.
5. Did you face any struggles before becoming an author? If so, how did you overcome them?
Not really. I have been lucky. Writing this book was a real treat. Great fun and hugely interesting. I guess the most difficult bit was trying to find a publisher. As an unknown it is difficult. Even J K Rowling had many refusals until she found a publisher. It is not easy but I was determined that people should hear this story. Whenever I spoke about it to friends they all said:- ‘You should write a book about this Richard. It is an amazing story!’
6. Now that you are a published author, how has your life changed, if at all?
I feel massively proud of my achievement. It has taken six years to get to this point. I don’t think my life has changed although I am sure my wife tires a little of hearing me talk about the book. Strangely I am quite keen on writing another. It takes time but if I can find the right story, I think I am up for it. There are a couple of possibilities in the pipeline.
7. Can you please describe a typical day in your life now?
I am semi retired now but my days always seem to be filled with things to do. I am a busy kind of person but, although I do get very involved in various projects, I keep calm and do everything possible not to become stressed out. Life is too short.
I take a keen interest in what is happening in the lives of my children, walk the dog - because my wife tells me it is good for me - and the dog. I have a keen interest in current affairs and run the local Parish Magazine. Generally I live a relaxing and calm day to day life - but keep busy!
8. What is your most memorable moment of your life as an author?
I am not sure I can describe myself as an ‘author’ just yet. It is weird to be asked: ‘ What do you do as a job?’ and respond as: ‘I am an author.’ I suppose I am an author now, having written and published a book. Wow!
The most memorable moment - well there were several. Discovering this story was definitely one. Going to visit the places my father lived as a young boy - well amazing! Receiving the first printed copies - amazing! There is not one particular memorable moment. The whole experience is filled with memorable moments!