Richard Hernaman Allen
writer of detective stories/composer/ experimenter in acryclic
I spent 25 years working for HM Customs & Excise, including over 7 years as a Commissioner and Board Member. I also worked in other Government Departments, including Treasury, Cabinet Office. Department of Social Security and Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs; and as a consultant, advising on government projects in the UK and in Georgia and Kosovo, reviewing major Government projects, training people appearing before Parliamentary Committees' , on the Standards Committee of my local authority and advising small charities. Apart from writing books, I write and play music (violin, guitar, banjo, mandola), paint, do moderately long trail runs, play badminton and study Eastern literature and Latvia. I am married to Vanessa, who taught in a special needs school, with two daughters, Jo - a professional musician and music industry entrepreneur - and Kat - a personal trainer and teacher of English as a foreign language. I am also now a grandfather to Joshua and Jasper.
After Customs & Excise was progressively dismembered after the merger with Inland Revenue in 2005, I wanted to preserve memories of a unique organisation. Because Customs are poorly represented in crime literature, I felt that books about the wide range of Customs crimes could kill two birds with one stone. So I developed my main characters in "The Waterguard" set in 1964 - Nick & Rosemary Storey (a C&E official and a policewoman in the Metropolitan Police). Subsequently, I've taken them through their careers covering a wide range of Customs & Excise work, and into retirement in thirty or so books.
I have been writing virtually all my life. My pride is "Through Fire", a long adventure novel, which took me 30 years of my life to write. I followed it up with "By water" and "Out of sight" and am currently completing "Borne on the wind".
Recently, I started writing detective stories set in the mid-17th century, the period I studied in greatest detail for my degree.
I've also now published poems and short stories which I've written over the years, as well as a short book reflecting on 2020, the plague year.