The TranzCon Series

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ABOUT (me)

“Oh come on Dave, you don’t have a creative bone in your body”, was the sort of response I got at first when I told people I was writing a book. And at first sight, perhaps they were right. Uncovering hidden artistic ability in a “logical as a Vulcan” engineer who designed electrical systems for sewage treatment plants was about as likely as finding compassion in a Dalek (if that isn’t mixing sci-fi metaphors just a little too much).

But still there was something in there, deep inside, a need that had to be fulfilled.

So then the next question comes, “Why have you left it so long?”. Well to tell you the truth, I’ve been busy. Busy for half a century? Well yes, all those years of education, work, family, moving from house to house and doing all the DIY and decorating kept me busy decade after decade. Eventually I reached my early 50’s and it all started to calm down just a little, and then the desire to write finally surfaced. I’m sure it had always been there, it was just waiting for the right moment.

But desire alone doesn’t write a book. It’s a bit like learning to drive a car, you learn how to operate the controls and follow the rules of the road, and then one day they stick a piece of paper in your hand and tell you that next time you sit in the vehicle you’ll be all alone - for the very first time in your life. Then you’ve got the problem, “where do I go?”. There’d always been someone there telling you, until now.

It’s the same with writing a book. Until you start writing for yourself, you’d only read, and that’s as easy as riding in a car as a passenger. But now it’s all changed, you have to become the guide, the leader, the one who shows the way. At first it was like sitting staring out onto a vast ocean, and in that expanse of water were a few islands, the bits of story I’d actually settled on. Good, it’s progress, but then you have to learn how to chart a course, to sail your story from island to island and still keep it interesting. And sometimes you have to accept that one of your favourite islands isn’t actually needed after all. It’s sad to watch it sink, like Atlantis, beneath the waves. It’s even worse when you realise the original destination isn’t actually the right place to head for. Sometimes you have to sail around a bit to work out which way you ought to be going.

And that’s what I did with TranzCon (the forerunner of Female 22), I thrashed it around, and bashed it around. I tried this, and that, and something else until, like the stars forming in the early universe, a story began to coalesce. That’s why it took ten years to write TranzCon - there was a lot of learning I had to do along the way. It was a good thing I didn’t give up the day-job.

But to come back to the original purpose of this section - “About”. About me in fact. You don’t really want to know but you clicked on the “About” tab so now you can find out. I’ll try to keep it brief:

Born and raised in Sheffield, went to university in Bradford (to study electrical engineering), worked for the Yorkshire Electricity Board, got married, switched over to the water industry, delegated having two daughters to the wife, got divorced, found new lady to love and now we live just outside Cambridge in blissful happiness (yes really!). Somewhere along the way my career took me to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Nepal, Abu Dhabi, India, Ethiopia, and a far off exotic land called Germany.

Then a couple of years ago I ignored all the advice and gave up the day-job after all, but let me reassure you, I was thinking more in terms of living off the pensions I’d collected from my many employers rather than relying on any proceeds from writing (and so far it’s a plan that’s worked).