I am a professional manager turned writer of fiction. You can read about my management career on my website www.achievement.uk.com. But now, I have retired from paid consultancy/interim management work.
Being a writer is inherently a solitary business. So to keep myself involved in the real world, to be with people and to give back at least some of what my business career has given me, I am a charity volunteer. So, at any point in time, I am usually working with a London charity, either on a consultancy project, or as a mentor to a charity chief executive. My pro bono consulting work takes up about 15% of my time. I also provide financial consultations to my wife’s business. She has the largest corporate cookery centre in London, and she caters to events such as weddings. Corporate cookery is team building around food, where a team of corporate managers come to the centre, and under some direction, they cook together. Invariably, they have a great time, enjoy a good meal and get to know one another better. If you’re interested, ask me.
So, by now you know that I live in London. You may have guessed that my wife is Italian (you’re right), and that I’m American (right again). I have three children by my first wife. My two girls live in Pennsylvania in the States and each of them has a boy and a girl. My son, who is the youngest, lives in Germany with his wife and three children; he works for Bayer Corp. My wife has two girls who lived with me from the time they were children until they graduated from university. They are both married now and the older one has two little boys (soon to be joined by a little girl).
My wife and I have a house on the north coast of Sicily overlooking the Aeolian Islands and the Mediterranean. Sicily is a magical place. Some of the things which make it magical are mentioned in my first novel Fishing in Foreign Seas. We spend a month in Sicily in the summer, a week or two at Easter and three or four long weekends there every year. If you’re interested, ask me. My wife is not actually a Sicilian; she’s from Milan. Her grandfather was Sicilian. He died in the great earthquake in Messina in 1908. But, my wife went to Sicily as a teenager, and fell in love with it.
At the moment I have three published novels: Fishing in Foreign Seas, Sin & Contrition and Efraim’s Eye. Fishing in Foreign Seas is a love story set partly in Sicily and partly in the States. It also involves a very large business deal and sexual temptation.
Sin & Contrition follows six characters from the age of 13 to 62 as they face a wide range of impulses and mis-steps. They are three boys and three girls, all classmates, but from very different backgrounds. The novel deals rather clearly with their mistakes, but there is a background of religious and secular moral debate. Most of the story is set in Pittsburgh in the States.
Efraim’s Eye involves a terrorist plot to destroy the London Eye and all 800 passengers. The terrorist requires funding from his half-brother who is the corrupt CEO of a Morrocan charity. An English financial consultant and the operations director of a UK charity (a beautiful Israeli) are sent to investigate their Morrocan chapter. Will they discover the corruption, and the plot to destroy the Eye?
My fourth novel, The Iranian Scorpion, has now been published. It is a thriller about Robert Dawson of the Drug Enforcement Agency who is sent to Afghanistan to find ways of reducing the flow of heroin – produced from opium – to the US. With the help of Kate Conway, a freelance journalist and Vizier Ashraf , a shadowy Taliban leader, Rob is disguised as a field hand. He learns opium poppy cultivation and the conversion of opium to heroin. With his farmer ‘boss’, Azizullah, he enters Iran with 25 kg of heroin which is sold to The Scorpion, a drugs baron and governor of a remote Iranian province. Rob traces the heroin to New York City, where a bust is made. Furious, The Scorpion orders Rob to be captured and executed. Meanwhile Rob’s father, US general David Dawson is in Tehran with the UN agency investigating Iran’s use of nuclear energy. General Dawson learns of his son’s capture and threatened execution and decides to take action. (You’ll have to read the book to discover the conclusion.)
My fifth novel, which is a work in progress is an existential biography told in the first person (not autobiographical. but hopefully intellectually and emotionally interesting).