He left school in 1967, and in 1969 (age 17) he joined the British Army and served 23 years, completing his service in 1992. A career in Retail Management was next, which lasted for 20 years. In October 2012 Tom stepped down to become a Part-time Sales Assistant on a three-day-week to allow more time for writing.
Since 2007 Tom has had several ‘letter of the week’ letters published, six times winning prizes in magazines. He has won two short story competitions, had six short stories published in anthologies and another published on a ‘talking book’ CD. The audio CD anthology was specifically produced for the visually impaired.
Between December 2007 and December 2012 Tom wrote in excess of 700 poems. In June 2013 he had a short story requested for use by World Reader, a charitable organisation providing an International education/reading program, for developing countries. In October 2013 he was contacted by a student at Glasgow University who was on his Masters Degree. He requested use of one of Tom’s poems, ‘River Clyde’, as part of the soundtrack to his short video, ‘Clyde Built’, which was produced as part of the MDes Sound for the Moving Image programme.
In 2011 Tom attempted the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge. He wrote a novel of 56,000 words in 29 days. It was titled ‘Hawk’ and was loosely based on a series of 35 poems of the same name.
In 2012 Tom completed his first novel, a romance-based thriller titled 10 Days in Panama. Inspired by decent reviews he embarked on a crime-thriller.
In 2013, he took the Hawk idea a stage further to produce his novel, Beyond The Law, later to be re-titled Beyond The Law: Formation.
Following several visits to Amsterdam to visit his son who works there, Tom played around with the idea of a psychological thriller/romance/travelog and the result … in 2014 he published, Amsterdam Calling.
Since then, this author has set himself a working practise of having at least two projects in production simultaneously. In Tom’s opinion, it’s healthy to leave work aside for several weeks between drafts. Since 2014 he has continued to produce novels, and anthologies of short stories.
Typically, one month will be spent on a novel, and the next month on short stories. The latest development (May 2016) is to work on a novel, a collection of short stories, a series of novellas, and a five-part novel. Due to the level of information required for each project the minimum time any one piece is left to rest is now over a month – which is good for all of the projects. In this way, every draft of each project is an improvement.
As any creative writer would recognise, their quality of work improves over time, due in part to experience, and in no small way to input via reviews, reading widely, suggestions, and studying the writing craft.
Supplementary information – October 2017
Tom has revised all of his novels to date, and apart from working on the final instalment of his five-part novel. A Life of Choice: Part Five, is the culmination of a story which the author has written in various points of view, and in various styles.
Why has A Life of Choice been so difficult to develop and complete?
It is fact-based fiction, and the key to making this an enduring tale was always going to be the way it was told. Tom has opted for first person point of view, and broken the story into five parts to allow for greater emphasis on certain areas.
Tom is one of three authors who were responsible for the restructuring of the Indie Author Support & Discussion group’s website.