Welcome

Hi! Welcome to my site! Let me tell you a little about myself.

portrait of me

I was born in Liverpool, England and after studying archaeology at the Universities of Cambridge and Calgary, I became a professor of anthropology at a small liberal-arts college in Colorado, Fort Lewis, until my retirement (early, I am glad to say!)

Now I enjoy the rural life of southern Colorado, fish for trout in our local streams, watch my beloved Everton football club whenever I can on the “telly” and write novels that I hope will bring enjoyment and perhaps a little knowledge about the past to my readers. Oh, and with my lovely wife, Donna, we look after our two beautiful dogs, Missy P. and Lexi (or is it the other way around?)

I am a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and hold memberships in the Historical Novel Society and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain.

I like to write about how the great crises of history affected the ordinary men and women trying to cope with them and how they find reserves of strength and courage that they themselves did not know they had.

My first novel, A Terrible Unrest, published in 2014, followed the lives of the Andrakis family. Forced to leave their island home of Crete at the turn of the twentieth century, they eventually arrive in southern Colorado where they are forced to confront the horrors of the Colorado coalfield wars and the Ludlow Massacre of 1914 when unarmed women and children were killed by the Colorado National Guard.

My second, due out the end of March, The Village. A Novel of Wartime Crete, explores the effects of the German invasion of the island in 1941 on four ordinary people, two Cretans, a German paratrooper and an English soldier.

The idea for “A Terrible Unrest” came from my work as one of the lead archaeologists on “The Colorado Coalfield War Archaeological Project.” https://www.du.edu/ludlow/project Our principle aim was to expose the injustice of the coalmines at the turn of the twentieth century by using archaeology as an educational tool. The novel, which I wrote when we were living on Crete, was a natural outcome of the team’s constant outreach philosophy.

“The Village” was conceived while Donna and I still lived on the island. The Second World War still resonates throughout Crete; the war memorials, war cemeteries and the massacre sites are constant reminders of what Crete went through. The novel was not just my way of paying homage to those who fought and died but also a means by which I could explore the psychology of war and of those who commit to fighting and their myriad reasons for doing so.