How did you come to be a writer?
When I was eight years old I had a gifted schoolteacher
called Mr Rose at Coldcotes Junior Boys School in Leeds
. He read White Fang by Jack London to the
class and I asked him how I could become a writer. He
said, ‘Go to Compton Road Library and read everything
you can.’ So the journey began.
However, it wasn’t until I retired that I found
the TIME to give it my best. I had spent a lifetime
living my stories - now I have the opportunity to write
What is it about writing that
you most enjoy?
Creating a world in which truth and happiness reign.
Where is Ragley-on-the-Forest?
Ragley village is based on the beautiful cluster of
villages in North Yorkshire at the foot of the Hambleton
Hills. In particular, the lovely grass-lined main street
of Sutton-on-the-Forest to the north of York was my
inspiration for Ragley’s High Street.
Are the characters based on real
The characters are largely a figment of my imagination.
Although I’m sure many readers will recognise
some of the humorous characteristics in people they
What is your favourite novel?
Without doubt - Lord of the Rings. I read it
every five years as a treat. I lay out the map and follow
Who are your favourite authors?
Apart from J R R Tolkien, I’m also a big fan of
Isaac Asimov, Kate Atkinson, Jane Austen, Bill Bryson,
Lee Child, Michael Crichton, Charles Dickens, Ben Elton,
Thomas Hardy, Joanne Harris, Conn Igglesdun, C S Lewis,
Lesley Pearse, Philip Pullman, Manda Scott, Anita Shreve,
Sue Townsend and H G Wells . . . so you see I have eclectic
Do you have any ambitions that
you would love to fulfil?
I should like to play just one more game of rugby, ski
a blue run without falling down and grow perfect raspberries.
Where is your favourite place?
I have three. York Minster on New Year’s Eve,
Headingley Cricket Ground on a summer’s day (when
Yorkshire are winning) and Sydney Harbour at dawn on
an April morning.
How do you relax?
That’s easy. I read, garden, build walls, go to
the theatre, watch cricket and rugby, and visit places of historical interest.