I am an enthusiastic writer, film fanatic and avid reader of crime fiction. Authors I admire (old and new) include: Raymond Chandler, Ed McBain, Ross Macdonald, Ian Rankin, Craig Johnson, Elmore Leonard, Ernest Tidyman, Craig Russell, Robert Crais, James Lee Burke, Max Allan Collins and Mickey Spillane.
I have written a number of well-received short stories in a wide range of styles and genres, and have been short-listed in the Writer’s Forum magazine short story competition for Lightning Never Strikes Twice, an affectionate parody of the pulp PI fiction of the 1940s and 50s and its follow-up Fork Lightning – both featuring George “Lightning” Bolt.
I have also written The World of Shaft – a history and analysis of Ernest Tidyman’s black private detective John Shaft, covering his adventures both in print and on screen. The book was published by McFarland & Co. on 28 September 2015 and has been well-received.
I have recently contributed a piece on the Shaft novels to Andrew Nette and Iain McIntyre’s forthcoming Sticking It To the Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and Popular Fiction, 1956 to 1980, which is due to be published in November 2019 by PM Press.
My latest factual popular culture book is a guide to the music of the rock band Genesis. It is a project I started way back in 1998! I had parked it for the best part of twenty years before finally getting around to finishing it in September 2019. The manuscript is now with my publisher, McFarland & Co. and I am hoping the book will be out toward the middle of 2020.
I have a lifelong interest in films – from old classics to modern cinema – and have an extensive collection. My latest reviews are posted to my blog.
Additionally, I have a keen interest in music and have been to many concerts over the years. My favourite bands include Genesis, The Beatles, Rush, Marillion, Tears for Fears, Train, Elbow, AC/DC, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, ELO, Steve Winwood, Del Amitri, Chris Rea and Led Zeppelin to name a few. I even played keyboards in a rock band called Bad Habits for 17 years (1991-2008) touring the pubs and clubs of North West England and recording the CD Battles in 1995. The band still plays today.