Jude is the author of three contemporary novels, Counting the Ways, Miller Street SW22 and The Legacy of Mr Jarvis, all published with Matador.
‘I am honoured and, quite frankly, awe-struck at being invited by Matador to fulfil the role of Author Ambassador for the initial year of the scheme. As a devotee of everything that Matador offers and encompasses, I am excited to embark on a year of communicating with other authors, offering a personal perspective on my experiences and sharing with them – and with anyone who will listen! – my sense of the achievement and fulfilment that comes from publishing with Matador.
I began writing fiction many decades ago – commercial short stories that were published widely in women’s magazines both in the UK and abroad. But I had always wanted to write full length novels – character-driven fiction – and eventually, after completing an MA in Creative Writing, I wrote my first novel. Since then, I have written two more and am working on my fourth. Matador has published all three and my fourth will be heading in their direction once it is finished! I have had a parallel career as a teacher/tutor of English and Drama, although these days I teach far less and write far more. I also run creative writing workshops and classes. ’
Andrew’s non fiction book Didn't Anyone Ever Tell you it's all a Game was published with Matador in September 2021.
‘Writing my book was a lifetime ambition and Matador helped me to make that dream come true. That is why I am absolutely thrilled and delighted to have been asked by them to become one of their first Author Ambassadors. From my first nervous phone call with Hannah Dakin in January 2021, when I said very apologetically that I had written a book and would she like to read it (there was a massive PLEASE going on in my head), through to every interaction since, the company has delivered. They have integrity and good old-fashioned values of respect, decency and honesty in their business DNA, which is why I feel our values and beliefs are so closely aligned. Giving back and helping is a part of who I am, and if I can assist anyone with their journey to write and become a published author – as I now am (I still can’t believe this when I write and read it) – then what a great way this is to do exactly that.
Born and bred in the Black Country, I am a proud family man with a 35-year career at Lloyds Bank behind me. I was fortunate to undertake management roles within Retail, Commercial, Corporate and Private/International Private Banking, before formally retiring in May 2019.
Besides becoming a father, the next greatest privilege I’ve had in my life came in my latter years when I was seconded to Business In The Community, one of the Prince of Wales’ charities, as a Business Connector for Dudley. This gave me a belief in and a passion for giving back and connecting others, helping to improve the lives and wellbeing of as many people as possible. I now understand how communities work and how important the voluntary and third sectors are to our world. I have assisted and volunteered with many community projects since, including social enterprises, and my favourite area is helping with the development of younger people. I've also been a founding Director of a Multi Academy Trust, Mentor to the CEO and I still mentor several people at different stages of their lives.
It was this role that ultimately led me to write my debut book, Didn’t Anyone Ever Tell You? It’s All A Game! Part memoir, part self-development guide, Didn’t Anyone Ever Tell You? It’s All A Game! is my personal and practical take on surviving and sometimes winning at life. Like a game of snakes and ladders, life is full of some quick wins and many avoidable traps; I try to put the rulebook back into the readers’ hands. I use a combination of anecdotes, interviews and pieces of advice to show how the game(s) can be played in their favour to get the most out of life. One for mentors, mentees and anyone of any age with a curiosity about how to become the best version of themselves that they can be.’