Stephen came to serious writing late in life, although he can say that he's had an interest in writing and the English language since he was a teenager.
Of course, back in those days in deepest and darkest, Northamptonshire, there was no social media, no mobile phones and even the TV started off in black and white. So teenagers needed to find other ways to entertain themselves. And for Stephen, writing was one way. He continued to write on and off (more dabbling really,) until he became a police officer.
Nothing of what he had written back in those early days has survived and if it has, he wouldn't want it to see the light of day anyway. Spending thirty years as a police officer taught him to write about FACTS and not FICTION (although he knows some would probably disagree!)
Leaving school with little in the way of academic qualifications, it is a surprise to him now that he has managed to gain both a Bachelor's and Master's degree and would concede that his ability in academia probably only started after he left school. A late starter, as his mother was fond of saying. Writing grammatically correct police reports kept pace with his desire to write and a short period where he wrote policy for senior officers enhanced that ability to write something that occasionally went higher than the Chief Constable.
Service with Northamptonshire Police continued for thirty years. During that time the 'life skills' came thick and fast. As a young man he'd always felt that writing a fictional tome was not something he could do without them. It was only towards the end of his service that he began to wonder whether, as is commonly stated, that 'there is a book in everyone,' came more and more to the front of his mind. The idea of a book that commenced in his early career came back to him. Although it probably never went away and fermented in the back of his mind, until a rekindling of a desire to write fictional stories based up those earlier life skills in 'the job,' made his mind up for him. The book had to come out and Blind Murder was the result.
So here we are, moving further and further away from a job that literally gave him everything, to a point where he can sink closer into obscurity, unless of course, you by his books.