I am retired and live in Spain. I have five books available, two African novels, a set of travels stories, a sports book and the latest, A Search For Donald Cottee, a parody of Don Quixote.
Look and Listen
BiographyI was born in Wakefield, West Yorkshire in 1952 and was brought up in Sharlston, then a mining village. I did grammar school in Normanton, took a chemical engineering degree from Imperial College, London, and then decided to teach, after a PGCE at King’s. I then went to Kenya for two years as a volunteer. On returning Britain, I did sixteen years in London education. But the travel bug was with me and in 1992 my wife and I decided to move to Brunei, where we lived for almost seven years. Three years in Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, followed and then semi-retirement beckoned and we moved to Spain. Since 2003 I have done some part-time teaching, we have run a small tourist rental business and I have completed a PhD, as well as five books. Philip Spires is the author of four books. Two African novels, A Fool´s Knot and Mission are set in Kenya. Both are set in Kitui and feature the same characters. Voyagers is a set of travel stories set in Vietnam, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Yugoslavia, England, Italy and Turkey. 50 Of The Best is Martin Offiah´s choice of the best rugby league action in recent years. Philip Spires co-authored the book. Philip Spires was born in the UK and has lived in West Yorkshire, London, Kenya, Brunei and Abu Dhabi in the Emirates. He currently lives in La Nucia, near Benidorm in Spain.
InspirationI write about things that interest me in order to clarify my understanding of them, an understanding that itself is volatile. I am changing just like everyone else. It’s a process, self-directed and self-serving, but necessarily perceived from afar as aimed at the reader. But if a reader is prompted to empathise, then it becomes an experience shared. That’s the aim. It’s being taken there, rather than being told what it’s like. So the process has to be at the fore, not the product. The finished work is merely a means of accessing the discovery process. And that process has to be honest and driven by a need to experience, clarify and interpret. If others are drawn in, they will experience similar sensations, insights or emotions, sometimes also the same sense of the mundane or even inane that prompted the author. If not, try again tomorrow. Only the readers can tell you if it worked, and they cannot be expected to agree. All writing, even in academe, should be driven by this self-seeking discovery, a desire to communicate the detail of experience. Never prescribe, always explore. Only those who are truly banal never admit doubt or question, only the truly puerile claim authority. I write because I have ideas and questions I want to explore. My motivation is selfish. I am not really seeking material rewards, though a few would be nice. What I want is intellectual gratification, an ego trip if you like, but one that seeks communication rather than aggrandizement. Publishing only makes sense if others are drawn to share the experience and, as yet, that has hardly happened. And so I keep plugging away doing what I do, reviewing books, writing from experience and interest in the hope that others will find it engaging.
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