Born near Bedford, England, in 1941, I attended my local village primary school, then onto Bedford Grammar School. Art schools in Luton and London followed, but it was my love of blues music that would become a lifelong passion.
As a blues guitarist during the great ‘London Club Scene Years’, my band, The Authentics was the resident band at the Crawdaddy Club and London’s legendary Marquee Club. We supported groups like The Yardbirds and The Who. Along with great gigs like The Rolling Stones at the 4th Richmond Jazz and Blues Festival.
When the blues and jazz revival, along with popular music, sadly went into decline, I went back to art and opened a small gallery to sell my paintings. This developed into book illustration and toy design, working for some of the main publishers and producers in the UK, Europe and the USA.
I’m now living in Southwest France, writing and illustrating children’s books along with ideas for short stories. Painting (mostly large abstract works) occupies part of my time, but my love of performing and recording blues music still takes up the greater part.
CLEVER TREVA and the CUBIC CRYSTALIZER
Genre: Childrens humorous adventure
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What was your incentive to start writing?
I have been fascinated by literature and illustration ever since getting my first Rupert Annual for Christmas in 1947. And then the following Christmas my uncle gave me a copy of Kenneth Graham’s delightful classic, The Wind in the Willows.
When I went to The Grammar School in Bedford, I discovered the delights of the public library, which was opposite my school. It was where I spent every afternoon after school looking for anything that appealed to my offbeat tastes. By the time I was 14, I’d found and read Tolkien’s works, Wyndom Lewis’ The Human Age, Mervyn Peak’s Gormanghast trilogy, Proust’s Thus Spake Zarathustra, the C.S. Lewis books (The Sci-Fi trilogy not Narnia which I discovered much later when I read it to my children.), and of course, the incomparable P.G. Wodehouse.
What challenges and obstacles do you find to your working routine?
Apart from the usual daunting first blank page, canvas, or recording track, I find the constant demands of everyday life, take up too much time. There is too much to do and not enough of it!
What do you read?
Mostly I read current and developing science non-fiction. I constantly re-read my old favourites to enjoy the beauty of our glorious English language. I do like a good detective novel by Ian Rankin, or spy fiction by John le Carrier and Len Deighton. A good fun read would be Robert Rankin’s The Brentford Trilogy. For me, he is the 21st century P.G. Wodehouse.
Work in progress?
I’m currently working on illustrations for an illustrated version of CLEVA TREVA AND THE CUBIC CRYSTALIZER. Also, a sequel and two graphic cartoon books are in the pipeline, to be followed by a blues CD, which I hope to release shortly