The thing about an attempt on your life: it concentrates the mind…

“We’ve come to kill you,” the one with the 2” X 2” square-edged, two-foot length of mahogany said. Then the other two grabbed me, and he did his best. They were young and strong, and in their twenties. I was not…

After 3 or 4 blows to the head, the blood was running into my eyes. After 8 or 9, I remember shouting “DON’T KILL ME!” with a certain amount of urgency. By then they had beaten me to the ground and taken the keys to the house out of my trousers pocket. My wife was locked inside and the alarm was going off: so their time was limited, and it was money they were really after…

As is fairly obvious, we lived to tell the tale. A neighbour screamed up in a car, lights blazing, and they ran. At the hospital, the surgeon who put the seventeen stitches into my head wounds said my hands had saved my life: I’d clasped them over my head and they’d taken the brunt of the blows. It was months before I had full use of them again. My wedding ring had to be cut off…

We identified our attackers, and the police arrested one of them. We both picked him out in an identity parade. Then the police said they would hurry through a gun licence for me: because his family and friends would certainly try and kill us both to prevent us testifying at his trial. That was when Amy and I decided enough was enough.

So within a month, our three year adventure had come to an end, and we were back in England with our assets in Belize unsold: a lovely house, 31 acres of land along the coastal highway, and a part-share in a penthouse suite overlooking a fabulous lagoon in Placencia.

But as one door closes, another opens…

In the 1970s, I had written some stories for children, sent them to Penguin and they had published them (The Ice Warrior and Other Stories). But at the same time I had wanted my own school to play with, and when the Inner London Education Authority gave me a BIG one in Hackney, I played with it for nearly fifteen years. It took all of my waking hours.

I promised myself I would again write for children when I retired. But have you noticed that “the best laid plans o’ mice and men gang aft agley?” In life as well as war, the first casualty is the plan.

My parents became ill – one with increasingly severe dementia and the other with galloping motor-neurone disease. For seven years, my wife and I looked after them, until it was a 24 hour job for both of us and we were doing shifts. Then, between 1999 and 2001, first one, and then the other, didn’t need us to do that any more…

…by which time the first of the daughters I acquired in 1995 had reached university age, and needed help on to the first rung of the property ladder. Her younger sister was just two years behind her. Amy and I did the sums…

…and for the next five years I found myself back where I had started my professional life: in a classroom doing what I did best (for some unfathomable reason) – teaching children English.

I retired for the final time in 2007, and at the beginning of 2008 we started our Caribbean adventure. My idea was to write for children in a tropical paradise; but instead we found ourselves helping a charming Taiwanese couple communicate with the English-speaking world while running a small, successful hotel.

And all this time I had an idea for an amazing story. I just had to find the time to write it. I had the cause and will and strength and means; and of course the time…

And then I nearly died.

So on getting back to England I threw myself into that story. For four years I wrote for eight hours a day, seven days a week (with the odd wee break here and there); and in that time the first five volumes of what turned out to be a mega-long story clawed their way towards the light of day.

The sixth was finished in May 2016. Several more volumes now lurk in the shadows. I have merely to write them; but with Myrddin’s help (and the healing power in Grace’s hands) I hope I will have the time. How many volumes will it take to finish the story? I have no way of knowing. I DO know that  this story is longer than The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. It may EVEN turn out to be longer than Harry Potter and…

The first ten chapters of Book 1 are on this website. See if they float your boat. “I loved them!” said the first agent I contacted. “I was laughing with tears in my eyes…”; but that’s another story.

I am keen that as many bright children as possible (between the ages of 10-110) should read the Myrddin’s Heir series: so I have made  Book 1 FREE on Amazon and Smashwords. Subsequent books in the series are just 99p in the U.K. and 99c in the U.S..

That’s less than half the price of anything that costs more than twice as much. How good is THAT?!

Bk 1 cover compressed  Bk 2 cover compressed  Bk 3 cover compressed  Bk 4 cover compressed  Bk 5 cover compressed  Book 6 cover Colleen final version compressed