Welcome to my website.
I hope you will find something of interest here even if you have already read
“Against The Tide” which is the first in a series of stories set during and
immediately after World War Two.
The second novel, “The Last Boat”, set in 1940 was published in 2013 and
continues the story of Jack Renouf and his friends. You will find the opening
chapters of both books on this website.
The third novel, "Diamonds For The Wolf", was published in 2015 and picks up where
the previous one left off.
The next one, provisionally titled "To Russia With Love"' is in on the stocks.
The final novel, “Ho 17”, set in 1990 is complete and will be published
at the end of the series.
If you wish to purchaseeither of the first two novelsyou have a choice of links
though if you buy directly from this site, I will send you a signed copy.
I’d love to read what you think of the novels so please let me know through the
section on feedback.
If you would like to keep in touch and receive advance information about
the publication of the other books in the series, please fill in the form under
To enhance your enjoyment of the stories, this website provides background detail, especially photographs, of the locations used in the books. As the series progresses more detail will be added on a ‘need to know’ basis.
When I’m reading a story, I really don’t want to know what’s on the next page until I’ve finished the current one so will often cover the bottom lines to stop my eyes ‘cheating’. So don’t expect revelations about the stories or even too many hints about how they will develop. Just enjoy the additional period details as I did when researching them and try to transport yourself back in time.
Why write Against The Tide?
I grew up in Jersey surrounded by the ruins of the German Occupation. My mother lived through it and every adult I knew had a story to tell. My passion in the 1960s was swimming and water polo and I virtually lived at the Harve des Pas tidal swimming pool during the summer months. I was fascinated by the war and often wondered what it would have been like if I had been nineteen in 1939 and not 1965 and off to war instead of drama school in London.
After retirement, I tried to find out and started writing this first novel. When the story line was settled, I made sure the action was historically accurate and spent months on research. Over one hundred years of Jersey Swimming Club’s documents and photos were available in the Jersey Archive and I can tell you exactly how many visitors paid for a swim, how many ice-creams were consumed and what music was played over the loudspeakers for any given day in the summer of 1939. Of course, I haven't burdened the reader with such detail but it certainly helped to transport me to the scene.
“Against The Tide” is initially set in and around the swimming pool but quickly becomes an adventure as the main characters discover…but I can’t reveal that here.
I've drawn on my skills of teaching dramatic improvisation for thirty-nine years to establish the characters then given them almost a free rein to tell their own story. Like me, I hope you will be just as surprised by some of the outcomes!
I hasten to point out that this is a work of fiction and all the characters are creations of my imagination and not representations of real people. While I might share some of Jack Renouf’s experiences in swimming and water polo, he is of my mother’s generation. He is not my alter ego! Between you and me, he is far more interesting though I would not want to have experienced even ten percent of what he created for himself in this series through controlling my fingers on the keyboard.Acknowledgements:
I would like to thank the following for the help they provided in the production of this novel:
Chris Sawyer of Author’s Aid for her no nonsense appraisals and invaluable advice in making it ready for publication.
Kent Sligh, an established screenwriter based in California, for his line edit and superb support.
My wife Liz for her diligent proof reading and understanding support.
Frank Le Blancq of the Jersey Met Office for his interpretation of the complex weather records for the period so that I could tell if it was indeed sunny or blowing a gale.
Gareth Syvret of the Société Jersiaise for his help in photographic interpretation
Mark Simmonds of Vintage Manuals for providing the vehicle details I needed.
The Jersey Archive Service for their help in research.
The Jersey Library Service for producing copies of newspapers of the period.