I grew up in and around Burnley, Lancashire which is in the North of England. I spent a lot of time in the local library and the bookstore, mostly reading SF and Fantasy. Having taken so much from the genre, I think it’s about time I put something back – at least that’s what I tell my wife. I get side-tracked easily into projects like Origins of the West, Philosophy, History of England
The Old North (after Roman Britain, before Anglo Saxon England).
To dream is to connect to the fount of human invention. It’s important to dream, but to bring it to life, there has to be a hard edge. My vision is that each bright fantasy, whether in space, or in a magic realm, is built on realism. I work with scientists and checking facts is a priority.
I’ve an extensive grounding in the literature. Writers like Dick, Heinlein and Herbert have set the bar high. Do I want to imitate them? Hell no. My objectives are to define a cosmogony, a future, an event, or a crisis in which to set my characters. A sandbox populated by humans and aliens. They must work their way out. No magic, cure everything gadgets.
I’m committed to writing realistic Science Fiction and Fantasy. I like big ideas infused with realism and I’m inspired by fantastic themes set within a realistic context; e.g. Sandman, Lucifer, Fables. These treatments fascinate me. I’m also a fan of Golden Age SF and admire works such as Dune, Starship Troopers and Lord of the Rings. Sometimes I showcase my stuff on my blog. I’ve no agent or publisher (diy doesn’t count) and I write under my real name.
In a parallel life I’m a CIMA qualified Management Accountant which means I get to use spreadsheets (yippee!). I have four children, three dogs, two cats and a long suffering wife. For the really anal, I do process mapping, spreadsheet modelling, management reporting and costing systems. The next bit (About my Writing) keeps drifting out of date.
About my Writing
I’ve edited most of my short stories and will soon issue new collections. Ice Made will be left under my TP Archie by-line as a record. My new collections will come out under my real name.
In May 2009 I began writing with no other intent other than to test a writing program. ‘I’ll just do a chapter’ I thought. I did one, then another. By the time I’d got to 8,000 words I was two weeks and three chapters into a 60,000 word novel. This was the beginning of the Mandat Culturel project.
It wasn’t easy, I was describing an Earth in the near future where civilisation had crashed and I had to work out why things had fallen apart and put it into words. Then I had to make it become a draft. Then relearn punctuation, grammar, the works. 60k became 160k. That took several re-writes and three years. Most of what I started with is discarded, some survives. Along the way I reinvented religion, evolution, God, a cosmogony, the works. It was fun.
And now? It’s complex – multi-leveled multiple story-lines. Unpublishable.
In February 2013 I self-published Ice Made (hard copy edition); a collection of my short stories written between September 2009 and December 2012, which are available via Lulu’s print-on-demand technology. This collection is also on Kindle as three separate volumes. See Ice Made, An Empty Bucket and Master of the Universe for links to the Kindle editions, feedback and more. Most of the short stories have appeared on the web pages of My Telegraph in one form or another.