I was a scholarship kid who was never bright enough to realise I’d have been happier as a writer than as a businessman. Until, that is, I had a spectacular row with my boss and stepped off the corporate ladder. Long before that epiphany, I left school at 17 to join the Royal Navy, and was later sponsored by the RN to read Geography at Cambridge University. I made my first attempts at writing fiction during long voyages in warships. Fortunately, none of those efforts survive. In a subsequent, business career, I consistently failed to reconcile writing with increasingly pressurised roles in technology companies.
That row with my boss did me a favour. It didn’t feel like that at the time, when I carried enough bitterness to swear that I’d never be an employee again. I’d always wanted to finish that book. This was my chance. I’d work as an independent, interim manager and write between assignments.
The writing took over, and I now write full time.