A MOVING TARGET IS HARDER TO HIT...!
Which probably accounts for James McGee’s varied – some might say chaotic – career.
An army brat, James attended school in Gibraltar, Germany and Northern Ireland, by which time, after appalling exam grades, he’d had enough of academia.
His first proper job was working for Barclays Bank. He left when - yes, you’ve guessed it - he was told he’d have to take more exams if he wanted to progress. Which he didn't; not in banking, at any rate.
From there he went to work for British Airways - Revenue Accounts, which was about as thrilling as it sounds, but it did give him the opportunity to travel.
When that job finally lost its appeal – after three years, when he took a long weekend and never went back – he became a sales rep for the Kent Messenger Newspaper Group. That lasted 12 months, when he applied for a position with Pan Am in their Crew Operations Department at Heathrow. Astonishingly they said 'yes', which was just the ticket ( er, sorry about that...) for someone who, by then, had developed a serious travel bug.
James’s love of travel took him round the world, from Europe to the Caribbean and the USA, the Middle East, Japan and Thailand, Australia and other exotic destinations in between.
By this time, though, he’d got the urge to write and, following the publication of his first novel, Trigger Men, a story of mercenaries in East Africa, he resigned from the airline to try and write full time. Two more thrillers followed – Crow’s War and Wolf’s Lair. Sadly, the money didn’t, so it was back to the drawing board and legitimate employment.
Waterstones Booksellers were kind enough to step in but after a few years, disillusioned with life, lack of prospects and annual stock takes, he sold up and went travelling again, through the USA and Australia, to visit the bits he'd missed the first time around. Writing went on the back burner.
Upon returning to the UK, he joined Ottakar's Booksellers as a store manager. It was during this period that he wrote Ratcatcher, the first Matthew Hawkwood adventure. With the success of the second novel in the series, Resurrectionist, it became harder to hold down two full-time roles, so he resigned from Ottakar's, which, by this time, had been taken over by Waterstones.
Thus giving James the dubious honour of having resigned twice from the same company.
Four more Hawkwood novels have followed - Rapscallion, Rebellion, The Blooding and The Reckoning.
And he's still found time for travelling - sailing the Indonesian island to watch Komodo dragons feed, spending time as a volunteer on a South African game reserve and exploring the ruins of Machu Picchu being among the highlights.
He's also co-presented book reviews for several independent radio stations as well as BBC local radio. He's taught English as a foreign language and a number of his photos have appeared in a travel company brochure. In his free time, he enjoys photography, hiking, golf and sailing, loves Bruce Springsteen and is a massive film fan.
He's hoping the latter will stand him in good stead when Hollywood comes up with an offer for the Hawkwood stories...!
Well, we can all dream, can't we...?