I would consider myself as being somewhat sensitive; I cry when watching films...I even cry at emotional adverts or when watching ‘Super Vet’ (I have a dog who follows me like a constant shadow) or ‘Long lost family’, so I am the first to admit I am a soft soul. Too forgiving I am often told, but I do not see that as a failing. I am a hopeless romantic at heart which probably explains my early interest in chivalric Knights on great quests rescuing fair maidens and Princesses...in truth it is probably the Princess who would end up rescuing me, for as I have learnt, women are actually the stronger sex.
I was for a long time very naive...naive to the realities of how people can treat others. I only ever saw the best in people. I still do for I refuse to become cynical, but the harsh realities of this world did and still do concern me...how could a God, if he really exists, allow or tolerate such cruelty and suffering? This led me to study as much as I could on all the major religions, including the not so well known philosophies, and nowadays I would say that I consider myself to be a spiritual, not necessarily religious person, for there is a massive difference. I have learnt and believe that religion is a vehicle that has been used to impart certain moral rules and guidelines, sadly often grossly misunderstood or interpreted, but also to carry intact, very real complex mathematical and harmonic codes, which to me at least clearly demonstrates there is a higher intelligence behind all of it. We are only now waking up to see those codes as our own scientific and technological knowledge grows; beforehand we could not recognise them for what they are. I believe my books explain this in some depth.
I have always loved to travel, still do and will until the day I depart, but I love returning home more I have now discovered. But I am a born adventurer; I always have been and suspect I always will be. Scaling a Scottish mountain in a wheel chair in old age is probably how I will exit this world! I was lucky enough to have travelled extensively in my early formative years to places such as Cyprus, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, and Jordan as well as other countries around the world due to my father’s profession. The whole of the Middle East held a special place in my heart, but Cyprus, the island of love as it is known, certainly had a profound effect upon me where I lived for many years. I recall seeing smoke stacks on the far horizon across the Sea whilst high up in the Troodos Mountains and being shocked to learn they were in fact fires from conflict in the Lebanon because of differing religious views. My work and career to date has also led me to many places across the globe.
I believe it is the love of a good woman that has helped guide, direct and keep me grounded. I have been lucky enough and blessed to have a supportive partner. She is no fool. She is also perhaps my harshest critic but very fair and balanced in her remarks and suggestions. I like to say that my head may be in the clouds but my feet are firmly on the ground...sometimes however I jump off and that is when she reins me back down to Earth.
Family is the most important thing in the world. Nothing else matters; it is what motivates me daily...for having children fundamentally changes you as a person. It certainly did me. It made me far more conscious of doing dangerous activities and sports such as parachuting and white water kayaking. I think it is nature’s way of guaranteeing you look after yourself better in order to protect and provide for your young. A good friend of mine challenged me on this belief until he too had children. He now cries over sad adverts...is far more cautious and developed a real fear of heights he never had before. I always hated heights!
In life, things that scare me, I try to learn all about and understand. That meant taking up rock climbing despite that fear of heights to learning all about war and politics to try and understand the world I find myself in. But that in turn makes me far more appreciative of the things I do have in life.
I hope to learn to play the harp one day. My partner rolled her eyes when I informed her of this great news! My attempts at learning the guitar are farcical and embarrassing to say the least so I am hoping for better luck with a harp. The harp has special significance within my books so it only seems fitting that I attempt to master them.
I love poetry and not embarrassed to say so. I discovered the power of poems at school when I wrote one for a girl I had more than a crush on. It made her cry. I never found out if she cried because it was so good or so bad! Her parents moved away before I got a full reply. I have composed several poems within my books so we shall see how they are received. I read literally anything from poetry to quantum physics...from sweeping female romances to epic historical stories. It all depends upon the mood I am in or work I am researching.
My greatest passion however is for all things ancient and the more spiritual, mysterious or mystical, the better for me. A trip out to a castle, even an old section of wall, and I am there. My family have laughed at me when I have dashed out of the car, in the pouring rain, even snow and once during a storm, just to check out an ancient standing stone or ruined hill fort...once driving the entire family what seemed like half way across Portugal to visit a ruin...only to discover it was shut and closed off when we arrived. They never let me forget that trip. I have lain inside the sarcophagus of the Great Pyramid and climbed sheer rock faces in Arabia...remember I hate heights, in pursuit of my passion. But my hobbies these days revolve around regular runs with my faithful shadow, the dog, in my attempts to remain fit, though in truth that usually ends up with me chasing him, chasing deer! I carry many broken bones and scars from previous adventures, but enjoy parachuting when I can, to my love of the great outdoors still, Scotland and Ireland being my two most favourite locations in the world. I tell people that I may have been born English, but my heart belongs to Ireland, my soul to Scotland and my body to Wales.
I can often be found walking in a wood for hours on end...a forest has to be the best therapy ever. But still my most favourite activity in the world has to be being wrapped up warm sat in my studio in England or my glorified shed in France, cup of tea to hand, gentle music, mainly film soundtracks, playing away and a good book. My library is quite extensive. The Peanuts books and Snoopy however will always remain supreme!