Me and My Books

I was born and raised in Hampshire, England. Despite being an avid reader, the words “could (and should) do better” were a constant throughout my schooling. I left education at 18 and worked as a window cleaner, picture MatthewPritchard1framer and pizza delivery rider. At 24, I spent two years living in Spain and Italy. After deciding I felt more at home among the Spanish, I became a fulltime resident of Almeria, Andalusia in 2001.

I worked as a journalist in Spain for ten years where I learned my chops as a writer and developed the discipline necessary to put in long stints at the keyboard. I worked mainly for the expat press in Spain but also did occasional work for the UK nationals. This was really the formative experience of my life as it taught me how interesting every aspect of human life can be and confirmed something I had suspected since childhood: people in authority need constant watching.

Author1The idea for the Danny Sanchez character came after a conversation with an ex-CID detective, who complained that police personnel were nearly always falsely represented in fiction. This is also true of fictional journalists, who are either crusading paragons of virtue or self-serving, duplicitous scumbags. As often tends to happen, the truth is actually far more complex (and interesting) so I decided to create something that accurately represented my own experience of working in journalism.

I chose crime fiction as it is a platform that allows me to write compelling stories about the aspects of society and human interaction that interest me (far too many “literary” books end with whimpers rather than bangs) while depicting a world that is recognisable. Also, far too many crime books are either poorly written or totally unrealistic in their portrayals of violence and police procedure.

Within crime fiction, I enjoy Elmore Leonard, Raymond Chandler, Ian Rankin and Dashiell Die TotenHammett but I love reading in general, a habit that comes from two sources: my father, who is a keen bibliophile, and my uncle who owns a second-hand book shop. My reading tastes are eclectic and split 60/40 between non-fiction and fiction, with books on history featuring largely. Interests outside writing consist of playing the guitar (rock, bottleneck blues and flamenco), collecting books on the Spanish Civil War and my children.

booksI have so far had three novels published in the UK by Salt Publishing: Scarecrow and Broken Arrow, the first two Danny Sanchez novels, and Werewolf, which is set in Germany during the aftermath of WWII. The German version of Scarecrow, Die Stunde Des Puppenspielers, is published by Goldmann. This publishing house has also issued a third Danny Sanchez novel rejected by my British publisher, entitled Die Toten Von Almeria.

Stolen LivesThe Danny Sanchez books were given a new lease of life when I signed up with eBook specialists, Endeavour Press, who published the books as a trilogy and managed to push both Scarecrow and Stolen Lives to the top of the Amazon Bestseller list (Broken Arrow only made it to No.2).

I am currently working on the fourth book in the Danny Sanchez series, which is as yet untitled.