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 Japan 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; older one has two boys and a girl; the younger one has a little boy and is expecting.
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 five – soon to be six – published novels: Fishing in Foreign Seas, Sin & Contrition, Efraim’s Eye, The Iranian Scorpion, Sable Shadow and The Presence, and Hidden Battlefields. 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.
My third novel, Efraim’s Eye, has won two awards; it involves a romantic encounter and a terrorist plot against a London landmark – a real thriller. The Iranian Scorpion – also the recipient of two awards is a thriller about the drugs trade in Afghanistan and Iran; it too features romantic episodes. Sable Shadow and The Presence is an existential biography told in the first person (not autobiographical) in which the main character hears voices – beginning as a young child – which he comes to realise are representatives of God and the devil. The novel has psychological, philosophical, theological and social themes; it has won seven awards.
Hidden Battlefields will be published late in 2014; it is a sequel to The Iranian Scorpion, but set in Peru, north west Africa, Italy and USA; it involves the cocaine trade.
Why the Blog?
I’m planning to share with my readers some of the joys and sorrows of a writer of fiction. Sometimes writing can feel like a eagle gliding on gentle updrafts in a clear blue sky, and sometimes it seems like climbing a slippery ice mountain in your bare feet!
(For more information about my novels, see www.williampeace.net.)