I’ve spent most of my working life as a journalist and was pleased and surprised to win an award for my travel writing. Before that I tried all sorts of jobs including furniture removals, photography, teaching and running a magazine group.
Travel writing is not all cocktails under the palm trees but it’s a fantastic job that has taken me to more than 40 countries, from the pure white wastes of Arctic Finland to the ancient deserts of Namibia.
Images of the townships of Cape Town, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Havana Vieja, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Jordan’s Wadi Rum and many other places will stay in my mind forever.
I received the Ed Lacy travel award in 2007. In February 2015 I was voted one of the 100 best crime authors in the WH Smith readers’ poll.
I’ve visited Greece many times and this has sparked a long love affair with Western Crete. The mountains, coastline, the food and people make me wonder sometimes if I lived there in some previous life.
Another interest is my family tree. I’ve traced the ancestors back to William of Byfield, a farmer in 1600s Northamptonshire, just down the road from Shakespeare.
I love maps. They might seem old fashioned in the age of GPS but they tell stories, make promises. I’ve collected more than 2,000.
Military history is another keen interest and I’m also a fan of books, strong cheese, good beer and wilderness.
I married Fran in Gibraltar in 2006 and have a daughter, Zoe. I live in Hove and London when I’m not in Western Crete.
I have written six crime thrillers featuring soldier-turned-investigator Danny Lancaster plus three short factual military histories.