I first became fascinated about writing at an early age

I first became fascinated about writing at an early age

but like many did very little about it. I would make up stories about all sorts of characters, both real and fantasy, sometimes putting pen to paper, other times relating them to my young peer group, embroidering them with absurd folk and outrageous plots, so as not to lose my restless audience’s interest. One thing I could do, even then, was to tell a ‘good story’.

There were two incidents, if you like that occurred many years ago, that would eventually set me on a course as a published author, although I did not realise it at those times.

The first happened when I was only six years old. I was staying with my aunt and uncle in what was then the thriving mining town of Tonypandy in South Wales. For a Christmas treat they took me to see the pantomime ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ My aunt, who was exceptionally theatrical, just happened to be a good friend of the rather charming and delightful young lady, who was playing the role of the evil step mother/witch.

I was fortunate enough, due to my aunt, to meet all the players backstage prior to production. I can just about recall a very attractive young woman, dark curly hair, with sparkling blue eyes and a laugh in her voice. She rewarded me with a kiss. “There’s lovely for you,” you might think. Wrong!

She came on stage completely transformed! She was attired in a dark green costume, with the head of Medusa, the famed Gorgon, and glaring red eyes. I was sitting in the very front row when she uttered her very first words in a very strong Welsh accent- “Hello ye young English boy a sitting with his aunt now. Well I curse him for ever. There now.” To say I had nightmares for the next month would be a massive understatement. And that is why, for those of you who have read the book, Wales veers very much to the darkest side of sorcery!

The second occurred when aged sixteen at my Grammar school. There is a tendency among those of my era to believe that the teachers of the sixties were supermen and women. Well maybe a few, but not this current student English master.

We were given a choice of stories to write in order to prepare for GCE O level English. I chose the title ‘Where There’s A Will There’s A Way’. I decided to have some fun with this. I wrote a short piece about a family of rabbits, where the oldest rabbit had died and left a will, but an evil fox who was also a lawyer tried to cheat ‘his clients’ from their rightful inheritance. They did indeed thwart his nasty ploy. Ergo I used the word ‘will’ in both senses. This young genius decided I had misunderstood the title and scrubbed it. My father, who had a way with words, and I trust I have inherited some that ability, was angry and appealed over this man’s head to the Headmaster and my story was reinstated. My father told me at the time, that I possessed a rare gift for writing and perhaps should consider journalism.

I did indeed consider it, but left school aged sixteen and went into the City, where I remained until 1982. It was at my last place of work in this world of finance that the roots of The Pentacle of Northumbria began to sprout.

After living abroad, I returned to England in 1984, having missed Watford’s astonishing first season in the old first division. Now I changed course and entered the world of what might be described as ‘social care’. I have worked here in several roles but it is only now in my very late working life that I am being paid for work I really enjoy and have done such in my social life.

 I directed and produced a play version of Oily Gasbag Goes A Dancing at Ealing Mencap in 2019 with both clients and staff, when I returned as Volunteer, having recently worked there. They loved it. It was a riot!

 I now reside in Eastbourne, and in my seventies still enjoy my writing. I now work for myself. My new company will launch in April 2024. Moore to come.