Director: The Write Direction Publishing Ltd
Andrew graduated with a degree History in 1986, and is now Director of The Write Direction Publishing Ltd. Here, he tells us a bit about his time at Loughborough University and his career journey.
I very much enjoyed my time at Loughborough, particularly researching and writing my final year dissertation.
In general terms, my it taught me how to work and think independently and find solutions to problems with minimal guidance. That is a mindset that has been invaluable through my career.
What is one piece of advice that you would give to current or prospective students looking to study the same course that you did?
Context is key when evaluating events, trends, or structural changes in the past. So always try to relate past happenings to what is going on globally in the present, and always place events in the bigger picture, the national or global context. Think macro, not just micro.
Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities during you time at Loughborough, and if so, how did these affect your overall experience?
I played cricket for the university first XI, and this gave me another valuable channel and a different and very enjoyable dimension to my university experience, beyond my course and my halls social life.
A highlight of my 1st XI cricket at Loughborough was beating Cambridge University on their home ground at Fenners, Cambridge, in 1985! I was also in the Loughborough team that lost narrowly in 1984 in the same fixture, so it was great to take revenge.
I am currently running my own publishing company, The Write Direction Publishing, through which I publish and market the thrillers I write—the Joe Johnson series of novels focused around espionage/war crimes investigations.
After studying at Loughborough, I trained as a journalist and worked from 1988-2002 on various newspapers, including The Scotsman, where I was Deputy City Editor in the newspaper’s London office writing financial news.
In 2002 I moved into corporate communications/media relations/PR, and worked with three different energy companies, including Centrica (owner of British Gas), and Iberdrola (owner of ScottishPower in the UK). I began writing my thrillers in 2016 and have since done that full time.
I’m quite an independent type of person so I love running my own company, researching and writing my books, and producing assets (books) that I can hopefully monetize for years and decades into the future.
I would like to continue writing and publishing my own books and I think that it is unlikely I will fully retire from this, as it is as much a hobby as a job, although I might slow the pace down a little at some stage.
It is difficult to pick one particular moment. In newspapers, I enjoyed the adrenaline rush of writing front page stories on major national issues to deadline and seeing the papers for sale the next morning bearing my byline.
In corporate communications, seeing through successfully a plan to generate significant media coverage of high value to the companies I worked for, often with the objective of influencing government energy policy in one direction or another.
In books/publishing, seeing the thrillers I have researched and written over a long period go on sale, earn positive reviews and comment from readers, and generate an income to support me and my family.