My own background is much less sensational than my heroes', but surprise, surprise, it began, like them, in a small town in the West of Scotland. [See the tail end of this page for an extract from the Sunday Times' Home section about where I grew up]. My home was Kilmarnock, and I do remember ration books [just!] and the taste of NHS bottled orange juice.

But instead of air raid sirens I grew up to the sound of the Beatles and Dylan and the warnings from the Government on our black and white TV about what do if we had 4 minutes left before the first Russian atom bombs rained down. Something to do with kitchen tables and wet blankets, and nothing about how to avoid dying a virgin.

The Kilmarnock Standard [my home town newspaper] did me proud with a big spread. Kilmarnock has always liked its literature. It was where Robert Burns had his poems first published and where the mill workers listened to his poetry being read out to them at the looms. He spoke their language. Kilmarnock is also home to the Dick Institute, our magnificent Victorian library and museum. It does the old ego good to find well-used copies of my books on the shelves I scoured as a boy!

After school, where writing and rugby came easy, but nothing else [and certainly not the women], journalism was the obvious career choice. So I became a computer programmer for the RAF (it sounded sexier than Civil Servant). A few steps later I'd resprayed myself as a management consultant working for a blue chip accountancy firm. I sustained the illusion long enough to be accepted as a minor guru in the banking industry. My firm, Price Waterhouse, even made me a partner.

But something inside was calling me back to my first love. When I found myself with a laptop and hours to kill on long haul flights, I began the internal journey that led to Truth Dare Kill and its sequel The Unquiet Heart. With the launch in early 2011 of the first 'Brodie' book - The Hanging Shed - I feel I've come home.

Speaking personally..