Personal stuff

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I can’t believe that anyone would actually want to know anything about me, but most authors seem to have this sort of personal stuff on their websites, so here goes.

 

What's that funny accent?

I was born in the wonderful city of Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1953. After seven years' hard labour at Annadale Grammar School (remember grammar schools?), I left Belfast in 1972 to go to university. I studied applied physics at City University, London. When I graduated in 1975, Britain was in recession and no-one wanted physicists with no experience of anything except attending physics lectures and running one of the university bars – I won’t say which took up more of my time! So, after a couple of idle years back in Belfast, I returned to City University and took a postgraduate diploma in journalism. That did the trick and a few months later I was a lowly editorial assistant on an electronics magazine based in Soho - a very colourful part of London in the 1970s. A year later I was the magazine’s assistant editor. Then I helped with the launch of a new video magazine and became its deputy editor. Soon after that, I left to go freelance.

 

Going it alone

Going freelance is a nerve-jangling experience. I was 29 and I had walked out of a perfectly good job. The big question was – would anyone employ me as a freelance writer? Luckily, a few folk did. I was kept busy writing articles for hi-fi, video, computer and electronics magazines. And I spent a year or so editing a science fact/fiction magazine called Space Voyager. I was also getting a few commissions to write non-fiction books. Over the years, the books took over.

 

Time for a change

In 2011, I decided it was time for a change. After writing short illustrated non-fiction children's books for nearly 30 years, I wanted to write mainstream non-fiction for adults. And for that I needed an agent. I wrote a few book proposals and then did some research on agents. The first agent I approached was Andrew Lownie in London. He signed me up straight away and sold my Ultimate Book of Impostors to an American publisher, Sourcebooks. It’s also available from Thistle Publishing in the UK. And I’ve now written a book about courtesans, concubines and royal mistresses, which you can read more about here. And I’m now writing a crime novel featuring the same characters as my Death Duties short stories, but set in the United States this time. So now you're up to date.

© Ian Graham 2017