Only time will tell!

I only became a writer in my mid-fifties after a long and varied career. Becoming an author has taken me in a very different and unexpected direction, introducing many positives to my life that I hadn’t foreseen.

I’m surprised it has happened at all and even more surprised to have found a degree of writing success, with many thousands of books sold worldwide. I think it makes sense to share a bit of my background before saying more about my books. I draw heavily on my past working life to inform my thriller novels, so it seems relevant.

I’ll keep the summary as concise as possible and hope readers find it interesting. I trained as a social worker after working as a young police officer in Wales, a small but beautiful country which is part of the United Kingdom. I worked as a generic social worker for a time after qualification and was then appointed as the child guidance social worker for Pembrokeshire. A period working for the NSPCC in Cornwall followed.

But both my family and I missed Wales, so we returned home after I was appointed child protection coordinator for Dyfed. I later headed up child protection services for Carmarthenshire.

I also lectured on child protection at various colleges and universities and to different professional groups. It was an interesting but challenging career path, placing heavy emotional demands on my multi-agency colleagues and me.

I didn’t fully appreciate just how stressful the work was until I looked back on it later in life. I started writing about ten years ago after taking early retirement on health grounds. I’d written a multi-agency child protection manual in my professional role but writing the first novel was very different. I write from experience, which I hope gives my books a gritty realism.

I started writing almost by accident. High-stress careers like police work and child care social work, often involving long hours and arduous tasks, place inevitable stresses on all those involved. You can’t do a job like that without it fundamentally impacting your life in one way or another.

I could see the effects of those stresses on the people I worked with, and the pressure began to get to me too. When I talked to a psychologist about my working life, she suggested I write some of my experiences down.

That therapeutic biography of sorts gradually became a fictionalized, darkly psychological thriller inspired by actual events. The book is called White is the Coldest Colour. I self-published initially, and the book sold better than I could have hoped, quickly becoming an Amazon bestseller in five countries. To my surprise, the audiobook entered the UK Audible Top 50 Bestseller Chart on the day of publication. After the book’s unexpected success, I signed with a literary agent, and a publishing deal soon followed.

A re-edited version of White is the Coldest Colour was published by leading independent publisher, Bloodhound Books, in 2018. A Czech language edition will be published later this year. The book deals with the difficult issue of child sexual abuse. It is dedicated to survivors everywhere.

Ten other books have followed—all published by the same English language publisher. I’m delighted to say that 'When Evil Calls Your Name', Portraits of the Dead, 'A Cold Cold Heart', 'Before I Met Him', 'Every Move You Make', 'The Girl in Red', 'The Girl in White', 'Mr. Nice', 'The Sisters', and 'Killing Evil' have all been bestselling novels.

It has all come as an unpredicted surprise to me, something I never expected to happen. I think it’s true to say we never know where life will take us. That has certainly been the case for me. I’m incredibly grateful to all my many readers.

Without them, my writing career wouldn’t exist at all. I’m currently writing book number twelve, another fast-paced psychological thriller. I have no idea how many more novels I’ll write. That will come as a surprise too. Only time will tell.

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