I spent my childhood in Sheffield and graduated from Leicester University with a degree in English and History. I became a teacher after training for a year in Birmingham.
I started my career in Gateway Sixth Form College in Leicester and then moved to my wife’s home town of Swansea in 1981. We have lived here ever since.
I was initially head of English in Dillwyn Llewelyn Community School and then moved to Cefn Hengoed Community School in 1991 as Deputy Head teacher. Apart from a short period in 2006 when I was Acting Head teacher, that job became my professional life and it is the job from which I retired in the summer of 2011, after 38 years as a teacher.
I always wanted to write. I have spent my time in the classroom commenting upon the work of others in one way and another as a teacher. I didn’t want to be a parasite for ever. I had to write for myself. Only then did I have the right to comment on the processes involved. I felt that it was time I stopped preaching and did something creative. As an art teacher once said to me, you wouldn’t appoint an art teacher who couldn’t draw, you wouldn’t employ a music teacher who couldn’t play the piano. Why should English teachers be different? Uncomplicated words, but they have stayed with me always.
Once our children were old enough (Laura, Catherine, Jennie and David) I devoted more time to writing and started to submit short articles. I was very fortunate that the first piece I had published appeared in The Independent newspaper in 1998 and other work soon followed. I began to appear regularly in The Times Education Supplement. In 2011 I was nominated as Columnist of the Year (Business Media Category) in the PPA Awards for my work with the TES
My first book was a GCSE Study Guide for York Notes – Heaney and Clarke and Pre 1914 Poetry. ( ISBN 0-582-77264.-8) I enjoyed writing this book very much and I am pleased that it appears to have helped many students since its first publication in 2003.
A piece I wrote in the Times Education Supplement led to an invitation to write a book on dyspraxia for Continuum Press. There is a page here on the site about dyspraxia because it is something which is very important to me. Click on this link to go to my Dyspraxia page. My books on Dyspraxia are still available on Amazon and in bookshops.
My other books for Continuum have been
How to be a Successful Deputy Head ( ISBN 0-8264-8647-9) published in 2006.
The Complete Guide for Teaching Assistants in Secondary Education (ISBN 0-8264-9906-6) published in 2008
Once again you can find these books on the Amazon website. Click on the titles of the two books above and you will be taken to the appropriate page.
I have also completed two more study guides for GCSE English Literature students.
The first was published in 2010 to support learners in their study of poetry for AQA English Literature. It deals with one of the prescribed poetry collections called Character and Voice. Here is a link to the book on Amazon. It is in the York Notes series.
AQA Anthology – Character and Voice
I was then asked to edit another Study Guide. I was asked to re-format an older version of the York Notes guide to Robert Cormier’s book Heroes which is now available.
My writing for Welsh Country Magazine led to the publication of my book Stories in Welsh Stone which explores the stories behind gravestones across Wales.
In the summer of 2021 I published a sequel Grave Tales From Wales, which has been very popular. There is a link in the list below,
I have also written local history books about Swansea and Wales. All my books have pages on this website where you can find more information about them – just click on these links below
I have also written two travel guides for Amberley Publications which were released in April 2018. Follow the links below for more information. These pages will open in a new window.
In 2019 my first novel was published – In Knives We Trust. It is a murder mystery set in Swansea in 1880. You can find out more about it if you click on the link here
The sequel, the second book in the projected series about Inspector Rumsey Bucke, was published in November 2020, It is called Our Lady of Mumbles. Click on the link below to find out more about it.
In September 2021 I published a novella called The Swansea Camel, a nativity story set in Swansea on Christmas Eve in 1880. This was followed in October 2021 by the third full length Inspector Rumsey Bucke novel, A Swansea Child.
This link here will take you straight to my How to Buy Page where you can see details of all my books available on the website and also details of any current special offers.