Category Archives: Good Days

Second novel in ‘The Grass Is Always Greener’ series out now…

Baroness kindle

Second in a series of four novels inspired by a Gallup poll completed in 2009 showing that 700 million people worldwide thought that the grass was greener on the other side of the fence and wanted to move permanently to another country.

Diana De Gonia is the doyenne of Palazzo Botigliani in Valletta, Malta, as the British-born widow of the last Baron di Migarro. She opens it to the public on a daily basis, but is beset with problems, both financial and personal, as she fights to keep the grand house and its collection of artefacts safe from financial ruin and claims from pretenders to her late husband’s title.
Bound by a promise to her late husband to keep the place intact for his long-lost son and heir, she can’t help feeling trapped and desperate until evidence that the heir exists gives her hope of escape.
Assisted by a devoted Bulgarian sidekick and an enthusiastically destructive Maltese cleaner, she meets constant opposition from government officials, the bank, her late husband’s relatives and the weather, which alternates between extreme heat and torrential rain. Angry that the love of her life was taken from her, she soldiers on with her daily battle, but is unable to avoid yearning for life in the pub in England in which she spent her formative years. This yearning is made all the more poignant by the fact that, although the pub was bought by her husband years earlier as an investment, it must now be sold to finance essential repairs at the palazzo.
Diana travels to England to finalise the sale of the pub and to investigate the man who claims to be her late husband’s son and heir. Will the heir apparent prove to be genuine and, if he is, will he want to be saddled with the responsibility? If he does, will the irony that the pub has to be sold be too much for her to bear?

First novel in ‘The Grass Is Always Greener’ series out now…

hairdresser kindle

First in a series of four novels inspired by a Gallup poll completed in 2009 showing that 700 million people worldwide wanted to move permanently to another country.

Peter Roper, who runs a hairdressing salon in the Midlands, collects miniature portraits to alleviate his feelings of mediocrity. Although he has worked in the same village for almost all of his thirty-nine years with a dictatorial mother who will entertain no mention of his absent father, he has never felt that he belonged. Always plagued with remorse for having handled his love life very badly in the past, the two problems currently overriding this are a suspicion that he caused his mother’s sudden death and confirmation that a planned high speed railway will obliterate the historic monument he calls home.
Further turmoil follows when, in the process of organising his mother’s funeral, he discovers that he is not who he thought he was. To knock him further off balance, the visit of an enigmatic stranger to the salon points him in the direction of an aristocratic heritage.
Lured to a Mediterranean island by possibilities beyond his wildest dreams, Peter is exhilarated by his first experience of foreign travel and thinks he may have found his true destiny until he suddenly finds himself in grave danger. Has his dissatisfaction with life and search for pastures new led to an early demise?

The Book Shed on the move…

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The Book Shed is now finally in place at my new abode (soon to be joined by the living wagon still under construction), so I’ve got a new view to inspire me. What more could a writer living on the knife-edge of insecurity ask for?

Variety is the spice of life…

In the space of four days – the week before last – I was on the red carpet at the Olivier Awards, building a new living wagon that’s going to be my new guest bedroom, erecting a fence in my Dad’s chicken pen, embarking on a mammoth cleaning job in my newly acquired home (which hadn’t seen a hint of a damp cloth or a squirt of Jif in 15 years but has a remarkable view) and performing as a willing but inexperienced chimney sweep…

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…and of course slaving away with the final edit of THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER tetralogy.


Review for ‘Curtains’ on Bookbag

“…this is a well crafted novel with terrific characterisation and a sinister storyline that lives up to the promises and remains shocking till the very end.”


All author royalties earned from

the sale of this book will be donated to


a charity working to transform access to

eye care services for people in developing countries.

CURTAINS available as Kindle ebook…

Circus Days

I have just been asked (for a possible newspaper feature) to run through my days in the circus.

Having done it, I thought I might as well put it on here:

In 1984 (at the age of 19), I worked with Sir Robert Fossett’s Circus on the advance publicity team, then for Lacey’s Lions at Gandey’s Circus (Martin Lacey now runs the Great British Circus & his sons Martin Lacey Jnr & Alex Lacey are starring in Circus Krone in Germany & Ringlings in the USA) as beast man. These two posts were intended as research for a planned circus novel, but – as well as discovering that life in the circus was nothing as I had imagined – I was well and rule bitten by the circus bug. This led to absconding from university the next year to work again with Sir Robert Fossett’s Circus, this time with the elephants & horses.

1986 saw me take on the task of ringmaster at Circus Fiesta (Tony Hopkins Entertainments, subsequently travelling as Chipperfields, Billy Smarts, Gerry Cottles & Netherlands National Circus) on an extensive UK tour which took the show as far as the Orkney Islands.

1986/87 Christmas & New Year season found me in the ring at Robert Brothers Circus in the SEC Glasgow, cementing my place as Europe’s youngest ringmaster at the age of 21.

After brief stints at the International Circus Festival in Monaco & Circo Francesca Orfei in Italy assisting with a dog act, I was back in the UK for the start of the 1987 season to ringmaster for Jay Miller’s Circus on it inaugural tour of the UK.

I was then invited to be ringmaster for the record-breaking Irish tour of the American Three Ring Circus from Christmas 1987 up until the end of 1988. This was a truly spectacular show with over 80 artistes, elephants, horses, tigers & bears.

Circus Hoffman then took me to Ireland again for Christmas 1988/New Year 1989.

Early 1989 was spent training an elephant in Ghent Zoo, Belgium, followed by one day stands in France with Circus European.

In late 1989, I went back to take over as ringmaster on the UK tour of the American Three Ring Circus.

1990 – my final season – was spent with Circus King (also in the UK).

Since then, I have resisted offers to travel again full-time (including another 3 ring circus in Ireland & a circus in France), but have done odd bits of circus work, including putting the show together & ring mastering for the first week of the inaugural tour of Circus Continental Berlin in Ireland, taking over from the ringmaster for a few weeks on the UK tour of the Moscow State Circus & numerous stints assisting my good friend wild animal presenter Marnie Dock working in Portugal (Circus Atlas), France (Arlette Gruss), Germany (Busch Roland), Austria (Louis Knie), Poland (Merano) & Spain (Mundial).

‘Beast Wagon’ – the novel resulting from this extremely prolonged research – has never been published as I sold the film rights to Working Title pre-publication & it has been in turnaround for years. A future project is, however, a series of murder mysteries featuring Amelia Wilde – an amateur sleuth with a background as a circus wild animal trainer in the fictional ‘Lord George Wilde’s Circus’.

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CURTAINS paperback is available for pre-order – May 1st 2012

CURTAINS (paperback) is available for pre-order from Amazon

Kindle version available soon

All author royalties earned from the sale of this novel will be donated to VISION AID OVERSEAS – a charity working to transform eye care services for people in developing countries.

CURTAINS will be published at last!

The big news is that CURTAINS will be published this year, both as a kindle edition & as a paperback original (Cherwell imprint). I’m in mid-edit at the moment and could be on to galley proofs next week (provided I don’t get too diverted by the fact that the pool hasn’t been tiled because it keeps raining and the house is far from ready for the first guests at the end of the month. Focus, Drew, focus!!!)


“I feel the need, for the sake of my sanity, to begin this very personal memoir immediately – before the future becomes the present and the present becomes the past. Even the recent past is a fragile entity, more than a little at the mercy of memory.”

Danny Devereux is a shy and introverted cabaret performer with an astounding talent for mimicry, a raucous and controlling alter-ego named Stella and a preoccupation with curtains. He has been working the London circuit for years when he unwittingly acquires the ultra-ambitious Veronica ‘Roni’ Bedford as his manager then wife. Her relentless drive propels him to stellar heights of television success.

One television series leads to another, but all is not harmonious in the celebrity household, even before a major scandal hits the headlines.

In self-induced exile in a luxurious Thames-side apartment, Danny looks back on the power games involved in his reluctant but meteoric rise to fame and spectacular fall from grace as he engineers a plan to vindicate himself. Will he succeed in his attempt to make appearance triumph over reality?