what draws you to writing adventure stories?
As a young boy I loved to read Enid Blyton’s Famous Five; as I got a little older I graduated to Robert Louis Stephenson and John Buchan. Since then, I’ve drifted between thriller (Frederick Forsyth) Sci-Fi (Harry Harrison) and of course Historical Fiction (Bernard Cornwell) but always find myself drawn back to what Hollywood calls, ‘quest tales’. I’m a sucker for an anti-hero; whether they are wielding a sword or a blaster.
Did you really grow up in a town with a medieval castle?
Yes, Flint Castle; it was built around 1282 by King Edward I of England; the first of his infamous ‘ring of steel’ constructed to subdue the native Welsh. Reputedly inspired by the castle at Aigues Mortes in southern France, it is the only one in the United Kingdom with a tower (the Donjon) separate from the rest of the structure, the walls of which are twenty feet thick.
how did you end up in africa?
I studied Mining Engineering at Leeds University, and on graduating was offered a job in South Africa working in the gold mining industry. Working four kilometers underground was not for me though; surface coal and uranium mines were my escape route to the daylight.
what do you miss most about wales?
My mum, my sister, my brother-in-law, a real pint of beer from a CAMRA pub, fish, chips and mushy peas. Apart from these tangible things, there is an indefinable magic and sense of belonging when traveling around the countryside and coastline of Cymru that I experience no where else – a Hiraeth if you will.
what would be your dream vacation?
Two weeks in a Landcruiser in the Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana; wilderness, wild animals, no cellphones, no fences and an ample supply of good South African red wine…baie lekker.