I am descendent of a long line of Dorset clay miners and have chased my family tree back to the 16th century in the Isle of Purbeck. I have been a public speaker at conferences for most of my career in the Aerospace and Automotive industries and was one of the founders of a successful games company back in the 1990’s.
Now in my late fifties I finally got around to writing the story I had going around in my head for many years. Thanks to inspiration from the great sea authors like Alexander Kent, Dewey Lambdin, Patrick O’Brian and Dudley Pope I was finally able to put digit to keyboard and start writing the Dorset Boy series.
I make no apologies that I write for myself. The stories emerge as I write and I am often surprised by the twists and turns that they take. My dog, Blaez, appears in the books as he sits by me as I write and it would be unfair to leave him out
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A Talent For Trouble: The Dorset Boy Book 1by Christopher C TubbsPublish: Oct 15, 2018Series: The Dorset BoyAction & Adventure Historical Fiction
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The Special Operations Flotilla: The Dorset Boy Book 2by Christopher C TubbsPublish: Nov 30, 2018Series: The Dorset BoyAction & Adventure Historical Fiction
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Agent Provocateur: The Dorset Boy Book 3by Christopher C TubbsPublish: Jan 18, 2019Series: The Dorset BoyAction & Adventure Historical Fiction
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In Dangerous Company: The Dorset Boy Book 4by Christopher C TubbsPublish: Apr 19, 2019Series: The Dorset BoyAction & Adventure Historical Fiction
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The Tempest: The Dorset Boy Book 5by Christopher C TubbsPublish: Jun 09, 2019Series: The Dorset BoyAction & Adventure Historical Fiction
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Vendetta: The Dorset Boy - Book 6by Christopher C TubbsPublish: Sep 23, 2019Series: The Dorset BoyAction & Adventure Historical Fiction Teen & Young Adult
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The Trojan horse: The Dorset Boy - Book 7by Christopher C TubbsPublish: Dec 12, 2019Series: The Dorset BoyAction & Adventure Historical Fiction
I was born and grew up for my first ten years in the middle of nowhere in Dorset clay mining country. If you look on google maps our house was the last of the few houses on Furzebrook road near a local beauty spot called the Blue Pool that was a former clay pit. We had no shop, pub or post office and school was miles away in Stoborough. Both Furzebrook and Stoborough feature in the first couple of books in the series. My fondest memories as a child are from Dorset, running wild across the heath and woods with my Jack Russel terrier, Spot, and my neighbour Marty. Those were the carefree days of childhood and it being the 1960’s television was just getting going, so books were the main way you got entertained. I read the Tiger and Jag comics but also Look and Learn which was all about science. I remember designing the next British main battle tank at the age of eight and when I think about it now I wasn’t far off!Do you remember what your first piece of creative writing was? Tell us more about it.
I wrote a poem in primary school and it got a lot of praise as I remember, It was about a monkey , but I cannot remember the words, I must have been around 8 or 9 years old at the time. I made the mistake of using the same poem for a later school exercise and getting the slipper for cheating. In grammar school the teachers asked us to write a commentary of our journey to and from school. I wrote it as a commentary but unfortunately I left in all the bad language and got caned for that as well. (So I do know what it was like to kiss the gunner’s daughter!). But in spite of all that it didn’t put me off writing.What was the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a published writer?
I started writing as I was suffering from arthritis in my shoulders and that stopped me doing a lot of the outside activities I enjoyed and it gave me something to do. I was toying with the idea of publishing after I finished the first draft of A Talent for Trouble. My sister in law had also written a book and had looked into KDP which interested me as I didn’t fancy trolling around publishers or working with an agent - too much pressure and writing is a pressure relief fro me. It wasn’t until I had finished the second book and started the third that I eventualy looked at it seriously. I didn’t think anybody would read my books as I just wrote a story for me. (How wrong can you be! Never assume that!). Anyway, I was on holiday with my wife in Tropea, Italy when I took a deep breath, gathered my courage in both hands and pressed the button to publish the manuscript. If I hadn’t she would have, I think she was getting tired of me just talking about it.You have been a public speaker at conferences in the Aerospace and Automotive industries and were one of the founders of a successful games company back in the 1990’s. How do you feel about the many and diverse things you have accomplished in life?
Extremely proud! I sometimes read my CV and think, “Damn, did I do all that?” I am still a speaker and do around 30 events a year, its interesting as I use my real name to publish and people are catching on that I’m also a writer. I was in Israel and one of the people there had done her homework and unexpectedly asked me how by books were doing in the middle of a meeting. But to be honest my two proudest moments were winning an apprentiship to be an Avionics Technician at the age of 16 (400 kids applied for the 14 positions) and seeing The Tempest go to number one in it’s genre in the UK and stay there for over a month, it is still there as I write.Who are the people that have influenced you as an author? Are you inspired by any other author specifically?
Non specifically, but I read Dewey Lambdin, David Eddings, Sherri Tepper, Patrick O’Brian, Alexander Kent and many others and I get a little from every book I read. I like some of the new YA fantasy authors and their style influences the pace of my books. The main influence on me was a friend and mentor I had back in the 90’s who taught me to "dare to be different" and 'be honest to myself'. Thank you Robert Plowright.In what ways does the relationship between speaker and audience sustain you, and in what ways not?
Doing a presentation is pretty much the same as doing stand up comedy, you have to keep the audience engaged, throw your energy into the presentation and hope that they reflect it back plus a little bit more. If an audience is flat and not reacting its very hard to keep going, but if they make eye contact, smile and nod or interrupt with real questions then you have made a connection. If an audience is good I sometimes come off stage exhausted as my adrenaline has been in boost mode throughout the session and I will have worked hard. I don’t think people realise how energy draining giving a good presentation is and how being a storyteller helps a lot. The other thing is I have slides but I never read them as I present, I need to be able to adapt the talk to what I see interests the audience, I once went into a theatre with a presentation tuned towards safety only to have to adapt on the fly to make it more about security when the two preceding presenters set the theme! A big thanks to the organisers of that event for almost dropping me in it.You have stuck to historical fiction as your preferred genre of writing. Do you think you would like to explore any other genres? Which ones?
Some kind of steampunk fantasy. I am fascinated by steam engines and ancient technology and wonder if my imagination is up to it. The ideas are lurking around in my subconciousness I just need to find time to get them out!Who are your favourite fantasy authors and what are your favourite fantasy novels?
David Eddings, Sherri Tepper, CJ Cherryh, Linsey Hall. I could list a dozen. The Morgaine Stories were one of my favourites along with The Bellgariad. Tolkien of course and when I was younger I read Piers Anthony, EC Tubb, Asimov and the other classic fantasy, Sci Fi authors.Who is Midshipman Martin Stockley and how did you come up with his character?
Marty is a boy full of potential as many young people are, he comes from a disadvantaged background but he is bright. He is lucky that his teacher takes pity on him and gets her brother to get him away from the mines and into the Navy. After that he gets into trouble, but by courage and intelligence gets himself out of it. He never misses the chance to grab any opportunity that falls his way. He is an opportunist, driven, insecure and terrified of failure. Just like me I guess. Unlike me he also has a natural talent for languages, something I am not good at and I live in the Netherlands! He also has the advantage that he has no breeding, so doesn’t have the hangups about honour that a gentleman would, a kick in the balls is as good a way to solve an argument as a challenge to a duel after all. As a midshipman he gets to do the dirty jobs that no gentleman would do and profits by way of prize money and status, but at the end he is just a Dorset Boy. In short he is the perfect agent. Remember Nelson was the son of a Vicar and by talent and leadership made it all the way to the top of his profession.Which of 'The Dorset Boy’ books was most challenging to write and why?
The one I’m writing now. Its half written, I still don’t have a title for it and have no idea where it will end up. Its got more suspense in it, the plot line is more complicated and I am sitting here wondering where its going next! The keyboard will spit out the storyline but it is slow going.What are some of the things you know now that you did not know when you first started writing?
That would be a very long list. Thanks to my Editor I am a better technical writer than I was, I have learnt to use less words to say the same thing, I am becoming more descriptive as people want to know more about the back story and better at paying attention to detail. I am told the books are getting better with each new one so that’s great, You can teach this old dog new tricks!Is there going to be another book in The Dorset Boy series? If so, can you tell us something about it?
Book 6 which as I said before has no title as yet. It starts with Prince George asking Marty to do him a favour. He has to retrieve some jewels and a set of plans from one of George’s former lovers who has run to Spain. Only problem is Spain is at war with Britain at that time. Marty and the S.O.F. are re-equiped after that and head south to set up camp in Gibraltar and get involved in the Battle of Maida in Italy.. Right now I’m in the middle of an intrigue involving a beautiful French spy and his tormentor from the Caribbean.What is "A Talent For Trouble" about? Why did you decide to set this book in the late 18th Century?
It a story about growing up and making the most of your opportunities. Its also about self improvement and how a boy with no background can make it in a world where blood means everything if he applies himself. He needs to impress the right people, and have a good slice of luck. And for those who doubt that anyone of his age could so this there was a real 14 year old around this time who joined the Navy as a volunteer and made midshipman after a month! In the end though its a boy’s own adventure with a pinch of violence.
I chose this period because all the other books that I have read start back in the early 18th so the hero can take part in all the big battles of the time. I didn’t want him to do that, it felt like a cliché, so I started the book in 1792 and researched loads of actions and events that no one else has written about. I also wanted to introduce a bit of social commentary around his social standing and his rise through the social classes. He might end up as a Baron but he hasn’t got an ounce of blue blood and neither has Caroline so its interesting to explore how the blue bloods handle that.Have there been times when you felt like giving up? What has helped you to stay motivated and continue writing?
Never! The reviews, good and bad just motivate me to keep going as do the emails from readers of all ages.How has AllAuthor helped you in the marketing and promotion of your books? Would you recommend this platform to your author friends?
Enormously. The tools are great, especially the tweet schedular. The featured books function allows you to focus on the books that you want pushed at any time and the mockup banners are wonderful and fool a lot of my friends. I had people ask where the bus stop was where they could see my book cover after I posted that one on Facebook.
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