A novel approach to writing

RAY Crowther was born in London.

He read cybernetics and mathematics at Reading University, before working in systems development jobs in England and on the Continent, after which he started his own company specialising in human resources software.

During this time he had technical papers published and also wrote reference manuals - the requirement for this exacting discipline being good preparation for a creative change into fiction writing, he reckons.

He cites the crime thriller writer Robert Goddard, author of Sight Unseen and Days Without Number, as his favourite author and the biggest influence on his own writing style.

Ray's first novel, The Nearest FarAway Place, about a search for a lost lost that culminates in murder, was published in 2001.

His second novel, Panglossian about amnesia and homelessness, was published in 2002 and was awarded a Medal of Merit by the writers' website Golgonooza.

Outlines for three future novels are currently in progress, provisionally entitled Odd Jobs, Downfall or Destiny and Hidden Talent, which opens in New York.

Away from writing, Ray enjoys jogging the lanes of his local countryside (where most of his fiction ideas evolve, he says), and he has also taken part in the London Marathon.

"Another main activity of mine is motor rallying in which I compete and write articles for motor sport magazines," he said.

He also enjoys designing websites, developing payroll software, he says, and farming chickens.