Who Am I?

I’m a professional writer, Cultural Historian and a Lecturer with The Open University. My debut novel Anaesthesia (available on Amazon and Kindle) is a love story set against a background of morphine addiction in the First World War. In Anaesthesia I tried to bring to life the untold stories of a young couple living through the Great War. But it isn’t really a war story; it’s a story of love and addiction that explores each character and the way they cope with extraordinary circumstances. It brings to life in earthy detail the under-reported darker side of wartime London and captures the moods of desperation and hope.  My intention is always to bring to life past events and to give a voice to those who are no longer in a position to speak for themselves.

I grew up in the 1960s in North Harrow in what is now Greater London. I consider myself unbelievably fortunate to have been around at the peak of an explosion of youth culture and great music. My lasting memories are of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Hendrix, Motown, Sweet Soul Music and strange smoke in the air.

I now live on the western edge of the Yorkshire Dales where the hills and streams drive my imagination. My juke box is filled with singles from the 1950s and ’60s and my iPod with music from everywhere.

Qualifications

  • PhD in Cultural Research (Lancaster)
  • BA (Hons) in Design History (Central Lancashire)
  • MA in Creative Writing (Lancaster)

Research Interests:

Social, Cultural and Design History of the twentieth century specialising in twentieth-century Americana, particularly juke boxes and the cultural trappings of young people. I have a long-standing interest in youth culture, design and popular music. My main focus is on the relationships between people and the influence of design and popular culture in the context of historical periods.

My literary ambitions lie in Historical Fiction and drama where I give a voice to those no longer in a position to present their point of view.

Key Interests:

Historical Fiction, Cultural, Social and Design History, Americanisation, Industrial Art Deco, Juke Boxes, Youth Culture, Subculture, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Style, Cultural Theory, Spiritualism and Football.

Publications:

Anesthesia: a story of love, war and addiction (Amazon, 2017)

Juke Box Britain: Americanisation and Youth Culture 1945-1960 (Manchester University Press, 2009).

Americanisation and youth culture: juke boxes and cultural fusions with special reference to northwest England (PhD, Lancaster University, 2004)

‘Conflict on the high street: Americanization, juke boxes, coffee bars, and the moral decay of the young in industrial Northwest England 1945-60’, Manchester Region History Review (v. 22, July 2012)