Around the beginning of the 20th Century, Walter E. Scott - Scotty to his friends - was passing through Death Valley, California, when he happened upon a dead man. Beside the corpse was a dog dying of thirst, and in the man's pocket was a piece of rock glittering with pure gold ... So begins one of the most endearing tales to come out of the American West. Scotty seized he day. He buried the body, saved the dog and worked out a plan that would change t only his own life, but that of many others. One of the lives Scotty changed was that of Albert M. Johnson, a wealthy but disabled Chicagoan who yearned for adventure. Johnson wanted for thing in material terms, but he had suffered a broken back in the train wreck that had killed his father. Despite inheriting the biggest insurance company in the Midwest, he was t a happy man, until Scotty appeared, that is. Scotty loved to have a good time and to be the centre of attention. He was a romantic soul, a natural-born showman with a talent for making things happen. He used whatever money that came his way to enjoy life and enhance his reputation as a gold miner, but he also enriched the lives of others in a way that was his and his alone. Scotty played the newspapers of William Randolph Hearst at their own game. He ran financial risks that would make the average person dizzy, but he remained the kind of man that folks always wanted to see win. Death Valley Scotty is a tightly crafted story that follows the life of a loveable rogue through more ups and downs than you'll find in the Sierra Nevada. See how his luck changes as his plans start to unravel. Follow him as he works himself out of yet ather tight corner and stays one step ahead of the law. Who kws what will happen next? Death Valley Scotty is reminiscent of True Grit. It has the uplift of It's a Wonderful Life. Set in a time when freedom seemed easier to find, this is a read that will surely make you smile.
I was born in Staffordshire, near Etruria, the place made famous by Josiah Wedgwood, but was brought up in Sydney, Australia and later in Lancashire, England. I studied astrophysics at Newcastle University, where I started the student science fiction society. Writing novels has always played a part in my life, and I've tried to see the world enough to be able to write fiction with the help of personal experience. After university, the US oil industry was booming so I went to Dallas, Texas, later on I worked on rigs in various parts of the Middle East and the war-torn heart of Africa. I was aboard the Ron Tappmeyer, a rig that blew out in the Persian Gulf, killing 19 men. It was dangerous work, but well-paid, and it took me to places that outsiders rarely see, like the Rub-al-Khali of Arabia and hard-to-reach parts of equatorial Africa. When I left the oilfields, I spent time on travel, first to East Berlin and Warsaw, then to Moscow and Leningrad. From there I took the Trans-Siberian railway to Japan. In Hong Kong, I worked on a road survey, took tea with the heir of the last king of Upper Burma near Mandalay, and on the path to Everest base camp just happened to run into Sir Edmund Hillary. After traveling around most of India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, I returned home and took up a job with the BBC. Four years later, I left BBC TV to write. I finally settled in London, but I still like to head off to interesting parts when time allows.