After a career in education in which I was involved in writing French text books and French and German courses for the Open University, I am enjoying the freedom of writing fiction. No more set formats, just inspiration and imagination. Researching the historical background to my plots fascinates me and I try to keep as much authenticity as possible whilst allowing a certain amount of author's licence.
I don't plan every twist and turn in advance, but allow the characters to lead me, often in unexpected directions. At times just when I think I know my characters they introduce twists into the plot which catch me by surprise. And I thought I was in control!
My novels still reflect my love of languages and travelling and so have an international cast of characters and locations.
I have a photographic eye and this has influenced the very visual way in which I describe places and people. My first novel, Joker in the Pack, is a spy novel in which a former student radical in the 1960s, now a Labour Cabinet Minister, asks to see the file MI5 kept on him at the time. He immediately receives threatening emails and realises that someone who informed on him in the past will go to any lengths, including murder, to avoid his or her identity being discovered. The intrigue takes place in England and in the dramatic city of Prague.
The Commissaire Pierre Rousseau Mysteries series (1. Achilles' Helmet, 2. The Athenian Connection, 3. The Crusader's Chronicle,4. Return to the Parthenon, 5. The Walking Man and 6.The Moroccan Connection, so far), features French and Greek detectives, who are fighting to prevent the export of looted works of art. The locations are in France, Italy, Greece, Morocco, England and Scotland with an international cast of detectives and villains. The theme is becoming increasingly topical with the growing pressure on museums to return works of art, looted in the past, to their country of origin,
If you like European detectives such as Aurelio Zen, Guido Brunetti and Salvo Montalbano then I am sure you will love Pierre Rousseau and Antonia Antoniarchis, with their partners Patrick Bruni and Eleni Tsikas.
If you enjoy reading in French then my novel Le Grand Mystère de Gornac set in a small village near Bordeaux is for you. The English version is called A Local French Affair.