Having lived in eight cities in five states in Midwest America by the time I was eighteen, some people may have thought Dad was a fugitive on the run from the law. But Dad was a preacher. I figured he was just looking for God in the Bible belt. Nevertheless, the moving got into my blood and I joined the Navy to do some serious traveling. And the Navy was a place where heavy drinking and chasing women were seen as normal behavior—but that was the '80s.
After four years of fun frolicking in Hawaii and around the Western Pacific, I met Wendy; a British-born, Australian-raised, green card holder who was living in California at the time. She came to Hawaii for a holiday, and over time, and several Mai Tai's, we got engaged. In the end, she won and I gave up cheap women for a high-maintenance one.
I made Wendy a Navy wife and we jetted off to Scotland so I could fix submarines. After five years there, I came to the conclusion that the Navy isn't the best place to be if you're married and actually like your wife. Time apart from each other was part of normal Navy life. I left the Navy and we moved to Seattle in 1990. Within two years we missed the "European Way of Life." So we saddled up and moved back to the UK in 1992.
We ran a tearoom in East Sussex for several years before selling up and I went into property renovations. I enjoyed that until the economy went *poof* in 2008/09. While waiting for the phone to ring with multiple job offers, I began writing articles for various websites regarding politics, DIY help guides, current events, but my favorites were when I was asked to produce something fun---humor and satire were my indulgences.
Wendy was baffled why I bothered with articles and repeatedly questioned why I didn't write a book. In the first place, how does one begin to write a book? It's not like a had a burning story pent up in me that simply had to be put onto paper. Articles I had written wanted a 400-word minimum and a maximum of around 2,000. Books are around 70-100,000 words! I don't like horror, I hate science-fiction, and if a girl writes sex it's hot--if a guy writes it he's a perv. I didn't know where to begin. "Write about what you know," they say. Since I wasn't a Navy SEAL or ever capture a terrorist kingpin, perhaps there wouldn't be much of a market for a guy who simply served nine years in the United States Navy during the Cold War in the 1980s. But boy did I have some fun. And there had to be a market for fun books, right?
So I wrote a 76,000-word memoir, Tin Cans and Bubbleheads, and sent it out to twenty-five agents in 2010. By 2011, I had twenty-five rejections. With a "silver lining" attitude, the rejections spurred me into joining an online writing group to sharpen up the manuscript--and my skills. By the time I had all the rough edges off I concluded that it may work better as fiction. Travis Casey gave way to the fictional character Tyler Chambers and a discarded memoir yielded a trilogy of trouble.
After writing three novels and beginning a fourth, real-life drama prompted Wendy and I to return to America in 2014, this time moving to Minnesota to be near my parents. The cultural changes were so vast it possessed me to write two books about it—this time non-fiction. I continued writing and completed two more novels while in America. In 2018 we returned to the UK, but not before we made an epic journey in an RV from Minnesota to Florida—which gave me material for my third memoir.
Novels or memoirs, my writing is light-hearted and fun. Whichever book(s) you decide to read, if I make you laugh, I've set out what I intended to do.