My Life So Far

I was born in the mid-1950s (so a boomer I guess) the only child of George Richard and Rita Margaret Draper, and I was born indoors as was customary then, in our terraced row house in Northfleet.  I had a pretty happy childhood, but there were a couple of things that helped shape me into the man I became.

My mother was manic depressive (now usually referred to as bi-polar) and this was a massively misunderstood condition in the 50's and 60's.  As a result of prolonged periods of treatment and even hospitalizations, I spent a lot of time with my Grandparents who lived some 20 houses away in the same street.  My Grandfather was a lighterman and barge captain, my Grandmother worked in a rebar factory (and had since the war) and my Dad was a shift working electrician, so I became fairly independent quite quickly.

Dad encouraged this and as an avid "Do it your-selfer" he encouraged me to try my hand at many things, not to be afraid to fail at something and to be willing to attempt a task until you got it right.   

Obviously there were no mobile phones, hell I remember when we got our first Bakelite rotary phone when I was 10 years old.   I was actively encouraged to find and make friends and work out ways to keep myself amused.  I became a cub scout, I joined youth clubs and I learned to  keep myself occupied, often through reading.  I was always at the library, getting new books.

Mostly I stayed out of trouble, graduated somehow from Gravesend Grammar School for Boys (but with only 1 A Level in English Lit.) and did a variety of jobs before doing a short military stint, which I enjoyed but which was cut short by a career ending ankle injury.  

I had, and still have, a voracious love of movies and of the cinema experience as a whole.  My Grandfather took me to see Ben Hur at the Regal in Gravesend when I was just 4 years old, and I still remember the experience, the wonder of it all and that's one reason that I put the Regal into my book series "The King of Gravesend".  It's also one reason I worked for EMI for a while managing the ABC 123 Cinema in that town.  Sadly there's not a single movie theatre there now.

I ended up in the USA for a while, where I thought I would try skydiving, mainly to see how it differed from my 5 round jumps in the military. The answer was "A LOT" and I stayed in the industry for 25 years, as a Jumpmaster, Instructor and Parachute Rigger.

I racked up over 7000 jumps including over 2000 as a tandem instructor,  and jumped in the US and Canada, as well as managing a drop zone in Upstate New York for 9 Summer Seasons.   This led to me being hired by the Qatar Military where I worked for their Special Forces, Airborne, for just over 10 years before retiring.  

I retired to The Philippines where I live with my wife, Veronica. 

 As we arrived here just in time for Covid Lockdowns, I found myself with a lot of free time, and decided to use it writing.

I started with some short stories, they morphed into a novella and that became a trilogy of books.  The tactical Sci-Fi series now called "The Timeliness Trilogy".  Then I switched up genres and wrote an urban crime/adventure series, and now....

Who knows what's next... keep an eye on the latest news section of this site to see what I'm working on and if you want to contact me check out this page Contact