David Donachie

David Donachie

Hello. First thing and soon to be launched - my website www.twofingersbooks.com Curious about the name? Have a look on the film to find out why it's called TFB's. Now to me. Born in Edinburgh during WW2, my conception was due to Air Chief Marshall Leigh Mallory. He was entertaining General Dwight Eisenhower to dinner and needed a fresh salmon. The fish was transported from Inverness to Edinburgh by my Pa, a despatch rider on a 24 hour pass, then by Spitfire to London, at a time when they would have been discussing the Normandy landings! A proper use of resources? Depends on your rank. Best gloss over what my parents got up to that night. My education is best not discussed, suffice to say that due to summer holidays coinciding with birthdays, I can genuinely claim to have left school at fourteen. This I managed with not a single certificate to my name. But I was proud of my school years for the results I got in the subjects which interested me - History and English. There was nothing of note in anything else. The other claim I can make is to have been the most accomplished truant in the school had ever entertained. My attendance record had so many crosses it looked like a join-the-dot picture! So when anyone asks what makes a writer I would not suggest I be used as an example. I wrote my first novel in 1989 and it was offered for by a major publisher within 2 weeks of submission. They were prepared to pay me £3000 - half on signature etc. I was unimpressed, given I'd had painted someone's flat the week before for £1600 quid, just one of the many jobs I've had in a peripatetic and complex working life. Nervous about the deal, I acquired an agent, who was sure we could do better, perhaps get a 3 book contract. So he sent it to a large number of rivals publishers, ALL of whom turned it down. The original editor was so annoyed he withdrew his offer too. That novel is still not published, so I am the only author I know, who turned down an offer for his first book! But I knew I could write and I did - 2 novels in six months - one set backstage in the theatre, where I'd worked on and off for 20 years, in which I fictionally murdered someone I would dearly have loved to top in real life. Didn't sell. The other one rested on my love of sea stories. In the Devil's Own Luck I created Harry and James Ludlow in a series combining nautical adventure and crime. Since then I have produced 45 novels as David Donachie, Jack Ludlow and Tom Connery. As DD I'm on book 15 of a naval fiction series with my hero John Pearce, pressed seaman to naval lieutenant and a pain to every superior he encounters. That will continue in a war that started in 1793 - told in By the Mast Divided - and ran for 22 years. I'm in 1796 at present so there's plenty more to come. Tom Connery is a trilogy on 18th Century marines (the were not yet royal). Just out under DD - The Contraband Shore - 18th Century Smuggling in East Kent, which was an industry and murderous with it. As Jack Ludlow my subjects are warfare. They include Republican Rome: The Normans in 11th Century Italy: Europe in the 1930's: The Crusades: 6th Century Byzantium and 14th Century mercenaries. My next name outing is going to be as Jack Cole, writing Thrillers and Crime: Tight Lies will see a US Vice President kidnapped: Every Second Counts is a counterfactual set in 1940 with GB asking for an Armistice, with things going pear shaped. Proper Copper is a planned detective story cum series beginning in France in 1940, to include theft, murder, sex and Dunkirk. What else can I say? I tell stories and will continue to do so as I take great joy from what I create. I live on the South East Coast with my partner, mother to our 2 now absent children, the writer and actress Sarah Grazebrook. I reckon to have a had a strange but interesting life. When I started out, all those years ago, I could claim on by book jackets to have had more jobs than birthdays. I was once asked in a radio interview, given that, why I became a writer. My answer. "Desperation, I'd tried everything else."
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