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Author from Penkridge recalls meeting Dolly Parton and Leonard Cohen

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: July 13, 2014

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WHERE WERE YOU BORN?

I was born in Bushbury in Wolverhampton, but we then moved to Penkridge, which was where I grew up.

WHAT WAS YOUR CHILDHOOD LIKE?

It was very good and gypsy-esque as my mother read tea leaves and tarot cards.

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My father loved horses and always bought the Racing Post. They were very hard working and provided for us all. I have a brother and two sisters and went to Wolgarston School.

TELL US A CHILDHOOD MEMORY

My earliest childhood memory was in Bushbury, hiding under the kitchen table and being told to keep quiet because the rent man was at the door.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU LEFT SCHOOL?

I wanted to travel. I just wanted to see what the world was about. At one point I took three months off and cycled across Canada coast to coast. I would work usually in the building trade, save money and then go off travelling. I have been to a lot of places and met a lot of interesting people. I lived on a kibbutz in Israel and back in 1979 I met Dolly Parton. I also met Leonard Cohen in a coffee shop.

HOW DID YOUR CAREER AND LIFE PROGRESS?

I carried on working and then travelling for a long time. Things changed when I got married. I had been in show bands for a number of years and used to write humorous monologues, which I would perform. I was on stage at a club one night and was heckled by this woman. I went to speak to her afterwards, her name was Pauline and she was from Ireland but had family in Cannock. We got together and married in 1998. She's been heckling me ever since.

WHAT INSPIRED THE BOOK?

I realised I was too old to rock and roll and too young to die so writing seemed a good thing to do. Seriously though, writing is something I have always done and I've always had stories going around my head. They say you should write about what you know and as the ideas were in my head I just sat down with my laptop. My first book was called The Great Tax Banishing Swindle (whose main character comes up with the perfect scam that goes awry) and did not do too badly. The new one, Red Fear is contemporary fiction. It's all about a woman haunted by the past and frightened by the present. I came very close to losing it as the publishers went bump and I had to go and get it back before the bailiffs went in.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

Being married for 16 years.

DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS?

I don't think you could write them down. We all make mistakes. They are part of a learning curve.

WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE AIMS/AMBITIONS?

I would like to try and get TV interested in my work. I think both books would make good films. But generally I just go from day to day. I work for a living to pay my bills but my hobby is writing.

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