Author Richard Hernaman Allen

I am a former Commissioner of HM Customs & Excise who also worked in 4 other Government Departments (two as a Director). I have always written since I was 9 or 10 and would probably have been a professional writer if I had won a competition when I was 21 (the novel I wrote was appalling!). I started “Through Fire” in 1976 and finished in 2006 after I had taken early retirement. My job, marriage to Vanessa and being father of Joanna & Katharine, took up most of my time. After I finished it, I worked on sequels “By Water”, “Out of Sight” and currently “Borne on the wind”.

By accident, passing Barton Stacey, near Andover, on my way on holiday, I discovered the pleasure of writing detective fiction. After my first two attempts, I decided that it would be sensible to focus on setting stories in Customs & Excise, which is not well served for detective fiction and would allow me to record what life was life in a department which has been merged out of existence, in the years from 1964-95. I’ve subsequently followed my main characters into retirement with more detective stories and have just started with a new detective solving murders, etc., in the mid-17th century.

I also compose music – from classical, modern & pop to jazz, experiment in acrylic paint, and run longish distances. I ran the London marathon & many half marathons, but a hip replacement means that I stick to shorter distances. I have a constant struggle with my garden.

The birth of my grandsons, Josh (2013) and Jasper (2015) have brought added joy into my life and I hope we will be able to show them some of the places we have loved in Britain, Italy, France, Germany and Latvia before we are too old.

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