My career has ranged from reporting to feature writing, from columnist to editor. I have edited trade, technical and professional magazines and mass market popular publications in the UK and Australia.
I began by doing the hard yards with an old-fashioned apprenticeship as a junior journalist on a venerable English weekly newspaper where everything I wrote was done under the stern gaze of an unforgiving chief reporter. Accuracy and attention to the most minor detail were paramount and this hard-learned doctrine has remained with me throughout a career spanning more than fifty years in the UK and Australia.
My experience includes writing and editing for everything from monthly technical and trade journals to mass market magazines and major daily newspapers. Duties have embraced reporting, feature writing, commentary and sub-editing.
Specialist writing includes many years as travel editor of The Age and later the Adelaide Advertiser as well as featured food and restaurant writer for magazines and newspapers.
For several years I held senior editorial production roles at The Age, Cairns Post, the Sun, Sunday Herald and Herald Sun.
Since setting up Yarraboy Editorial Services in the late 1990s, I have been commissioned by publishing houses and individuals in Australia and the UK to edit book-length manuscripts of fact and fiction ranging across all genres and covering a wide range of topics. I have also revised and proofread dissertations and theses for graduate and postgraduate students.
In October 2008, I passed the inaugural examination of the Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) to join Australia’s first cohort of fully accredited editors, a qualification that was renewed in 2018. I am also an advanced member of the UK’s Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP).
In 2007, having been a compulsive writer since childhood (and winning local competitions), I completed my first novel, Done Deal, which was shortlisted for the NSW Genre Fiction Award. The sequel, Washed Up, achieved the same accolade a year later and won a me mentorship with author Sophie Masson from the Australian Society of Authors.
The third book in the series, Death by Diamonds, was released in 2014 after being delayed while I undertook wide-ranging research in the UK that led to the publication early in 2012 of the semi-fictional memoir From Paupers To iPads – a Journey Through Seven Generations.
In 2016, I was placed under contract by Endeavour Books (UK) to publish the fourth crime fiction book, Twisted Trees, and republish the earlier titles, all as e-books. Death Comes By Drone, the fifth book in the crime fiction series, was published in late 2018 and a sixth is a work in progress (March 2020). The entire series is now also available as paperbacks worldwide
After a protracted period of research, I completed a follow-up to From Paupers To iPads that focussed on tracing my family’s hitherto unknown origins in Wales, Scotland and Cornwall. Titled Celtic Skeletons, it was published in late 2019 as an e-book and illustrated paperback and has achieved worldwide sales.
In early 2016, I was one of only eight crime writers worldwide selected for a residency at Canada’s prestigious Banff Centre for Excellence under the tutelage of bestselling authors Louise Welsh and Michael Robotham. I am a member of the Crime Writers’ Association of the UK and the Australian Society of Authors.
For recreation and inspiration, I have competed for many years at elite level in Master Athletics over distances from 3000 metres to the full marathon, and in October 2019 was selected for the England Masters’ half-marathon team to compete in an international race in March 2020, even though my ability to cover the longer distances is steadily diminishing as the years increase.
“Although (an online writing aid) has trained me to write better English, it cannot –
• make words flow like you can
• give feedback
• pick up loopholes
• get involved in the story
It is not creative like you. And, it doesn’t have a heart… unable to “feel” what the reader feels.”
– Comment from a fantasy book author