Recently I reviewed Games People Play by Owen Mullen which follows the life and cases of PI Charlie Cameron. You can read my review here
Today i’m very glad to say Owen has kindly offered to do a guest post on my blog.
I very much enjoyed the book and I’m looking forward to reading the second book Old Friends and New Enemies in the next few weeks
Click the images below to head to Amazon
I hope you enjoy the post 🙂
I Had A Dream
I didn’t start out to be a writer. Or rather, I did but somehow managed to forget about it. One early memory I have is of a recurring daydream – I guess I would be twelve or thirteen at the time. In the dream I saw myself on top of a hill, lying on the grass with paper and a pen. Below me was a city. The city was Naples. No idea why; I’ve been to Italy many times though never there. Around that time I was reading the short stories of Somerset Maugham. Maugham was tremendously successful and wealthy enough to be able to live in the South of France, which has always had a particular fascination for me. The writer’s life allowed him to travel and many of his stories are set in the Far East: ‘Rain’, ‘The Force of Circumstance’ and ‘The Outstation’ are favourites of mine.
So I grew up with a head filled with the idea of me as a well travelled writer living in the Mediterranean. Now, many years later, I fit that description. The daydream has become reality. With my wife, Christine, I have been all over the world – mostly organised by ourselves – from the Brazilian Amazon to the Himalayas in Nepal; Borneo to Botswana; the Ganges to the Zambezi. And great fun it has been. As for the rest, well, we didn’t quite make the South of France and settled for the Greek Islands instead. Shame, eh?
The journey has been interesting.
Those childish ambitions were overtaken by another creative outlet, one that seemed much more glamorous and exciting to a teenage boy: Music.
When I was sixteen I started a band with some of my friends. I played guitar [kind of] and practiced in my father’s garage. Where else? Of course, as you might expect, we were pretty awful and before long a few of the guys got fed up and moved on. I stuck at it.
A month before my nineteenth birthday I packed in my job and ‘went professional’. By then, I was in a group with people who had a lot of talent and a couple of them went on to be famous. I washed up in London, writing songs with another guy, doing session singing and playing the London club and pub circuit which existed at that time. But I didn’t make it and eventually went home to Scotland with no idea what I was going to do with the rest of my life.
Fortunately I met Christine.
We had met when I played her school Valentine’s Day dance. She was fifteen. I was seventeen. But I remembered her. With her help I got down to creating a new life. I went to college then university. As a teenager, music had been just the distraction I needed to bomb at school. Two higher and some ‘O’ Levels were all I had to show for the many wasted years in classrooms switched off from the lesson. Now I was on the road back. I re-invented myself as Owen Mullen MSc DipM CIM and ready to take on the world.
Getting a job was the next step. Not easy. Not many employers are keen to take a chance on an old muso; they’ve heard the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll hype and believe it. So they should. In the end I realised I was a free spirit and could do better on my own. As a marketing manager I had had dealings with design companies who charged a fortune for their services. I hadn’t been over impressed with the ones I’d had dealings with and had been forced to step in and rescue the artwork more than once. I left – you may have noticed I have had a habit of pulling the plug on ‘good’ jobs. It’s true. I didn’t know it, of course, but I was going full circle; all the way back to the boy and his daydream – and-set up my own business which, thank god, was successful.
But there was always that Mediterranean thing, wasn’t there?
On one particular trip we made a detour to the Greek island of Santorini and loved the climate. When we got back to Scotland I said to Christine. ‘Why don’t we pack everything in [there I go again] and move to the Greek Islands.’
She considered this for almost five seconds and said, ‘All right. Let’s do that.’
The idea in my head was that we buy a fisherman’s cottage and do it up. We were out of luck. We couldn’t find the fisherman or his cottage and instead bought land on a hill overlooking the sea. We found a builder, an architect and began to build our new home. That process is probably a book in itself but eventually we were in and ready to live the dream. Little did we know that just over the horizon was the biggest financial depression in living memory.
The life we had planned was in danger. We had to do something so I started to write, thinking I could save the day, not realising that the book business had troubles of its own. I couldn’t have picked a worse time to become a writer.
Somehow we survived.
When my first book, Games People Play, came out I remembered the twelve year old boy and his day dream. That was when it hit me. I was on a hill, though in a villa not lying on the grass. And the pen and paper was a pc. From the window I can see the blue water of the Mediterranean.
The dream has come true.
Games People Play and the follow up, Old Friends and New Enemies, are in print and doing alright. The third book – as yet untitled – is underway and will be finished in about ten weeks.
Well, if form is anything to go by I’ll pack it in and do something else, won’t I?
No. Not this time. I got where I wanted to go. Now I intend to get as many people as possible reading about Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron. For me and for Charlie, the adventure is only just starting.
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