I was born by the sea
Ran wild on the beach and in the woods
Went to school up the back alleys to avoid the big boys
Read lots of books
Told lots of lies and stories
Went to live in the big city
Went to the university – ‘read’ history - realised they were all 'his' stories
Lived in condemned houses and became a milkman
Danced the nights away and loved lots of people mostly girls
Lost and found love again
Became a drama teacher
A theatre director
A playwright – wrote some poems
A teacher teacher
Came to live in France
Written nine books so far
Published seven crime thrillers all featuring
DI Mick Fletcher.
Always reading and telling stories
As a drama teacher, I have co-written, devised, roleplayed with young children, teenagers, adults, teachers, old folk - improvising, directing and producing sketches, performances and full length plays in a range of venues and situations
all telling stories.
And now I facilitate writers’ groups, sharing my understanding of both the passion and the craft of making up and writing stories
I’m curious about the edge of things – those things still unexplained or disturbing.
The way people and events connect in unexpected and unpredictable ways
the power a sense of place has over people
how history affects our lives, often without us being aware of it.
Stories arrive most mornings.
Often fully formed.
Characters and voices chatter away.
Rewind. Say it again – differently.
Stories twist and turn.
Why the detective?
He is the ultimate interrogator.
The curious dog.
There is no cure for curiosity.
As a writer I’ve come late to writing novels, but as a teacher and an education consultant I’ve been leading courses for adults for nearly 30 years.
I attended my first writing course at
Arvon Moniack Mhor, which convinced me
I could write!
I have an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University.
My first five novels were all proofread, copy-edited, designed and published by professionals at 2QT.
Since then I've gone my own way, now with Ingramsparks and Createspace.
I’ve attended numerous publishing courses and seminars.
This website is about engaging with fellow writers to improve our skills
and learn new ones.
'A Porter's Macbeth' : 'daringly stylistic' Independent 1990
'The Unicorn' : a performance of power and integrity' Scotsman 1993
LEICESTERSHIRE YOUTH THEATRE at
THE EDINBURGH FRINGE FESTIVAL
'His skills in the classoom are exceptional.
He is able to inspire and motivate pupils of all backgrounds and abilities.'
NATIONAL ASSESSEMENT AGENCY for ADVANCED SKILLS TEACHERS June 1999.
A great mentor.
Patient and thought-provoking.
Opens minds – which isn’t easy!
CRITICAL SKILLS PROGRAMME
East Ayrshire 2007
I was very fortunate to work with
who taught me the power of ‘working in role’ in the classroom and elsewhere.
A working lifetime spent putting myself in other people’s shoes – real or imaginary and often enabled in this by other people: adults, teenagers and younger children.
So most of my fiction writing is simply a matter of inhabiting the role or the characters and listening to their voices and their inner thoughts and to continue to try to understand why someone -
- does what he's doing.
‘The novel is... above all a passion that takes hold of you completely, that enslaves you. It is a need, the need perhaps to escape from yourself, to live just as you like... in a world of your own choosing... and above all as a means to exorcise your demons by giving them a form and casting them out into the world...’
My paintings are about things I have done and things I wish I could do.
They are about sad, unhappy people who are driven by lust.’
‘I've learned so much both from the course and from Rick's mentoring.
The encouragement and feedback from the group has been fantastic.
I believe I'm (now) a writer.’
The course taught me more in a few sessions than I have learnt about creative writing in the last thirty years of my life.
A great course that I know has made me a better writer. So glad I signed up.’
‘Rick's passion for writing is irresistible.
It's all about having fun.
His feedback is always insightful, and high-lights his gift, which is to totally inhabit a character - even someone else's creation - and notice if they lose their own authenticity.
A really inspirational teacher.’