......and the books
Not only did joining the Army at 16 keep me out of trouble as a youngster, it set the path for decades of risk taking, remote travel, high octane adventure, and unique journeys as a soldier, officer, geographical surveyor and explorer.
My 28 years in the Military led to great friends and incredible experiences, allowing me to nurture my hobby of travel and exploration both on operations and leading global expeditions. I have always loved writing. And I began to get published in magazines and journals writing about my mountaineering and exploration experiences - often in geographical and mountaineering magazines, and occasionally in international journals. I always felt there was a novel to be written weaving stories of the outrageous characters I met in the military, mixing in some of my passion for geo-politics, and bringing alive some of the experiences of remote wilderness travel. That joyful journey from the age of 16 has hopefully culminated in a novel worthy of its own unique journey..........
I began writing The Failsafe Query way back in 2013 but never really took it seriously until my friends and family encouraged me to do so. They all inspired me to work on the novel.......Twelve edits later, a journey of pain, and after many frustrations, I published it with Unbound in July 2018. The superb reviews I received spurred me on to write my second novel, The Kompromat Kill, which is real seat of the pants stuff! The third novel was a joy to write and The Moscow Whisper was published in June 2020 with great reviews and a top ten spot in Kindle Terrorism thrillers.
Delve into them, immerse yourself in the characters, and revel in the plots - they are after all said and done - thrilling stories. And hopefully ones you enjoy.
From teenage years, right through to now, I have been lucky enough to climb and explore with tremendous people in extraordinary locations - from the gorges of Avon, through to the Borneo jungle, Kashmir, and the militarised border of China. As I developed, I started a series of global mountaineering and exploration expeditions way back in the early nineties, each one undertaking mapping and surveying with host nations high up in the mountains.
The aim was to get right into the heart of largely unexplored mountain wildernesses with young soldiers, leave nothing behind, but bring back some sort of research - and so we began surveying disputed mountain heights, carrying out terrain studies, creating new maps of unexplored areas, and even climbing previously unscaled peaks. This was true exploration and adventure full of risk and vibrancy, and an era that I hope coaxed many of the young lads we took into their own enduring mountain careers.
I was very privileged over the years to have served for many years on the Mount Everest Foundation committee and also to receive the 'Geographical Award' from the Royal Geographical Society who endorsed and promoted many of my expeditions. A documentary film was shown on the discovery & national geographic channels of our Atacama desert expedition entitled 'Conquering the Mountain of Fire', filmed by the award winning wilderness filmmaker, John Miles.
Some expedition scenes below.......
And an article written for the South American Explorers Club on disputed mountain heights...........
GPS surveying in the Atacama desert
The unclimbed 'Shumsky'
Chinese border with Kazakhstan
Dzungariya Alps, Kazakhstan
Setting up GPS control
Atacama desert, Chile
Summit of Cotopaxi, Ecuador
Sat comms and GPS in the desert
El Nino destroys Chile's bridges
Ladakh, N India, Himalayas
With the Chilean Army
Summit of Chimborazo, Ecuador
Final Chile Map