author of The Robin Gibson series
In Robin, I wanted to depict interests and activities that would ground him - make him human and three-dimensional. Hence, referencing my own partialities, I included the detail of the music and cars he loved and the projects that became such a useful distraction during difficult times - a lifeline almost. There is, I hope, nothing exotic or pretentious, because Robin is a just an 'ordinary' guy with tastes that are not particularly unusual but help to make him more accessible as a character. He is not intended to be remote or extraordinary or particularly virtuous; he is flawed, like every human being, and those flaws and foibles complete him as a person. His honesty to himself as well as others is a strength but also a weakness, particularly when a hostage to his own emotions - a recurring theme as Robin’s story progresses. When he loves something or someone, it is often with an intensity that risks disappointment and heartache.
Volumes 1, 2 and 3 deal with relatively short spans of years because, for Robin, this was an eventful and influential period, from which he emerged a different person. Whilst subsequent books may cover more acreage in the landscape of his life, they are unlikely to be less dramatic.
If you do decide to take the plunge, I wish you as much enjoyment as the pleasure I get from writing. Whatever your views, I welcome feedback.
I was born in Birmingham, where I lived for the first half of my life. I was fortunate enough to attend grammar school, which I left with a collection of ‘O’ and ‘A’ level GCEs. From there, I gained entry to what was to become a public corporation, in which I managed to survive for over 30 years. It was a career that allowed me to develop managerial, computer and writing skills, albeit to a mixed reception in the case of the latter!
After taking early retirement at 50, I ran my own company until returning to serious writing, thereby fulfilling a lifelong ambition. I now live with my partner of several years in the home we built well off the tourist trail in rural Thailand, returning to the UK for holidays and an annual dose of sanity.
Although the environment in which I write could hardly be more different from the UK background to my novels, it nevertheless provides the required stimulus. I have as much time as I want, largely interrupted only when I choose, which is quite often as I find the distraction of conversation and food and drink preparation creatively useful as well as preventing me from sitting on my bum for too long. I take inspiration from the views of open countryside from my office and comfort from the occasional iced mocha, hot cappuccinos, PG Tips and McVities digestives ...and constantly bare feet on tiled floors.
It was a decade into my career before I found a creative outlet of sorts in producing papers, reports and guidance but it never felt like the ideal avenue for my burgeoning ambition. It has only been more recently that I have had the time to fulfil my desire to write what I want and purely for my enjoyment. That was when I decided to channel my energies into novels, beginning with this series.
Drawing on my own experience, I wanted my story to reveal something of what it was like for a young gay man in the late sixties and beyond, as attitudes towards homosexuality changed. Against this background, we watch the development of the main character, Robin, and his needs and desires and also his confidence in dealing with those around him and the changes occuring in their lives.
I hope I have created characters who are both believable and interesting as they interact and intertwine. Some are constant, while others come and go, but all make an impact on Robin's life, just as he affects their lives, for good or bad.
from 'Some Kind Of Innocence'
It dawned on him that Amy was making a great deal more eye
contact than normal and, despite initial efforts to avoid doing so, he found himself returning it. She was now talking almost non-stop
- unhurriedly but in a way that was becoming increasingly hypnotic. Robin heard the words but was struggling to concentrate until, gradually, the noise of chatter and music around him seemed to recede and he was focussed exclusively on her eyes and mouth.
He wouldn’t recall subsequently exactly how it happened but, as if on an unspoken signal, they leaned in to each other and kissed. It wasn’t a mere peck on the cheek. At first, their lips touched lightly,
tentatively - an exploration. Then, they locked in full mouth-to mouth
resuscitation mode. Robin tasted the smoke in the heady mix of perfume, lipstick and alcohol, as Amy had not long finished
a cigarette. His mental faculties were in disarray, not because he
wanted it to stop but because he was enjoying it - savouring it, his
brain, caught off guard, not knowing how to deal with the messages being received and causing his extremities to tingle in response.