Smith S. J.
(or "see me after class boy").

This is me: under the hat,
I started writing at an early age but Pa censored my work and repainted my nursery wall. Which was useful as rejection is the very first lesson any writer has to learn.

My next encounter with the world of words was when I enrolled in primary school. I soon found out that some words are more tasteful than others, a message reinforced by the zealous application of carbolic soap to my juvenile palate by "Miss". Thereafter I chose my words with greater care and having "got out of bed on the right side" one particular morning found to my surprise that I had passed my eleven plus examination. Away I went to academia.

Academia and I cared little for each other. Conjugating Latin verbs was not to my liking, neither were homework, uniforms nor cheering on sports day. We parted company. I set out to find my fortune and to gather good copy on the way and whilst I am still seeking a fortune I have in stock bags of good copy upon which I am laboring industriously, now that dotage is on the horizon.

My journey through life took me to many odd places and professions. I boiled beetroot in a London suburb, tied lashings in an Airedale mill, hurtled around the Yorkshire Dales in a Transit van, wove fancy silks on ten looms, punched holes in sheets of steel, baked pies and pasties, learned the mysteries of the internal combustion engine, joined the Civil Service, left the Civil Service and in the end having exhausted all these avenues of entertainment I settled down and became an accountant.

Being an accountant turned out not to be as tedious as one might imagine. In my very first job as Credit Controller I was able to stop the production line of a major vehicle manufacturer who had mistaken my small engineering firm for his branch of a national bank. Having cleared up that little misunderstanding satisfactorily we supplied the sump plugs and the production lines rolled again.

My very next foray into the world of finance led me to encounter a group of creative financiers just as their over-inflated balloon popped. Their mistake was not that of forgetting who their bankers were, but rather one of forgetting whose money was in the account. I appeared for the Crown.

In the years that followed I have had the privilege of meeting humanity in all of its bewildering variety and for those who may be at a loose end I can wholeheartedly recommend a decade or two bashing out Balances Sheets.

My family has at one time or another comprised:
One wife (who is amazingly still with me) two sons, one daughter, two grandsons, two daughters-in-law and Mr Darcy (asserts my daughter);
Two cats, two dogs, one hamster, one rabbit, several tortoises, numerous fishes, flocks of hens, an homicidal budgerigar, an itinerant zebra finch and a large woodlouse whose name I forget.


Setting off to see the world,
Interviewing interesting characters over a spot of lunch,
Meeting Fan's after a public reading engagement,
Seeking comfort from my critics.