Tom is a single, happy go lucky hack/teacher in his early 50s who, according to friends, looks like ‘a stunted, tragically-dressed Gordon Ramsay’.
His writing career kicked off on the venerable Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard. After three-years cutting his teeth on local news (lots of stories about crop circles and hedgehogs) he took a one-way Aeroflot flight to Hong Kong and landed work on the trail-blazing Eastern Express newspaper.
After the Express crashed in 1996 he was lucky enough to blaze his own trail on a 12,500-mile bicycle ride between England and Australia. Then he hiked with Browny, a shaggy, kick-happy mule, across the American Deep South and finally paddled down the River Niger in West Africa.
He wrote books about all three journeys. The first – Johnny Ginger’s Last Ride – sold pretty well, the second – The Moonshine Mule – sold ok, and the third – The Road to Timbuktu – sold about 17 copies, courtesy of the local Salvation Army shop.
Post-Timbuktu, Tom reined in and secured a degree in psychiatric nursing at St Bart’s Hospital, working on wards in the East End. The experience blew him away so he wrote another book, Nurse! Nurse! – a title so naff he used a pseudonym: Jimmy Frazier (Frasier is one of Tom’s favourite TV shows). For a nanosecond Nurse! Nurse! reached No 1 on the Kindle charts.