Simon won the Trisha Ashley Award with 'Jimmy Christian', a tale of a young man who brings two small boys back from the dead. Since then he has written a considerable number of words and in February this year published his fourth novel, Eternity Leave. I asked him to tell us a little about himself and his writing.
I’m one of those writers whose life experiences are integral to my writing. For the past twenty years, I have been the main parent for my four children and while there are many books written by mothers about their experiences of raising young children, Eternity Leave, published in February this year is, as far as I know, unique in telling the story from a father’s perspective. Whilst the novel is intended to be a ‘light and easy read’, it also carries some important messages about gender discrimination and the isolation, loss of self-esteem and the demands of looking after both small and now older children. I wrote it as a fictional memoir in what I have been reliably informed is a, ‘blisteringly honest style’.
When I won the Trisha Ashley Award in 2015, I already had one novel published. Bread for the Bourgeoisie, was set in London and Romania. The latter being a country I knew well having worked in their mental health services. Winning the award gave me the confidence to press on with my next novel, Dead Dog Floating and then my most successful book to date The Truth About Us, which has sold 30,000 copies, and its sequel The Truth About Her.
Over the years, I have won a number of writing competitions as well as the Trisha Ashley Award, including the Harry Bowling Prize and the The New Writer.
Prior to becoming a father, I worked in the NHS for twenty years and travelled extensively around the world, working on projects supporting children with education and women’s empowerment projects. Nowadays, when not writing, I like to ride a very large motorbike and put a bit of space between me and the Westcountry where I live with my family.
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