Name  Jon Gliddon


Age  63


Where are you from?  I was born in Newton Abbot, Devon but schooled in Cornwall. We lived near Gunnislake in the picturesque Tamar Valley for many years and then moved a few miles away to Callington.


A little about yourself i.e. your education, family life etc. 

Having lived in East Cornwall in my formative years, my friends and I would play around the abandoned tin and copper mines. When I was 9 years old I found ‘treasure’ on one of the old waste dumps. Specimens of gold which of course turned out to be Fool’s Gold!  But I was hooked on minerals and mining and in 1971 I started at the Camborne School of Mines. After graduating in 1974 I married my Cornish sweetheart, Elaine, and whisked her off to Central Africa.  And yes, 41 years later we’re still married!


Fiona: Tell us your latest news? 

I have been retired for two years and fill my time with writing and researching my family tree. I have just started my second novel, The Imperative.


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

In 2011 I was working away from home during the week and had a couple of hours to spare each evening. I’d go to the local pub for a meal and take my iPad along. I’m not sure if the beer helped but I’d type a couple of pages at a time!


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I had the book read by a professional editor. I liked the book, but was not sure anyone else would! The editor liked it; a lot.


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I’d had the urge to write for several years but work, family and life got in the way. A chance visit to Porthcurno Telegraph Station was the catalyst.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I like to base my writing on actual locations and events but with a bit an imaginative twist. Sub-plots are also important to me to keep the suspense and avoid predictability.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title? 

Well the concept is an attack on Porthcurno Telegraph Station so Break in Communication seemed a succinct title.


Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?  

Two things; First, that a small Cornish village was so strategically important to the nation in WWII that it became the most heavily defended communications facility in the country. Second, that in 1940 and 1941 the outcome of the war was far from certain, indeed, there was a very real possibility that Britain would be invaded and consumed within the Third Reich.


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

It is based up on actual locations, military units and military hardware. The senior German officers are all real. The focus of the book, Porthcurno Telegraph Station is real, as is its strategic role.


Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?  

Not really. The action comes from my imagination but triggered I’m sure by books I’ve read and films I’ve seen. And of course Porthcurno Telegraph Station.


Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?  

I am very much of the Jack Higgins and Wilber Smith era of epic adventure stories. I love the fast pace, multiple plot lines and the twists and turns.


Fiona: What book are you reading now?  

The Virus House by David Irving. In 1939 , Germany led the world in nuclear physics and this book follows the race for the first atomic bomb.


Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? 

Dan Brown has to be at the top of the list although I guess he’s been around for a few years now. His grasp of details, mystery and sub-plots is about as good as it gets.


Fiona: What are your current projects?  

Apart from starting my second novel, I am co-organising a WW1 memorial event in northern France. My grandfather was in the 6th Dorsetshire Regiment and was seriously wounded in their last big fight of the war at Locquignol, Nord-Pas-de-Calais. We plan to commemorate this battle 100 years to the day on 4th November 2018.


Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.  

I researched how to publish a book and spoke to various people in the business. I got good support from a company called The Choir Press in Gloucester. They were very helpful and gave me the confidence to go carry on and finish Break in Communication.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

It is certainly something I will pursue in my retirement. I enjoy researching and writing very much and I have no shortage of ideas for titles and plot lines.


Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 

Yes. My second book picks up on some of the characters that appeared in the first book and now I would include a few strong hints on what was to follow.


Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?  

As a teenager lines of poetry would sometime come in to my head. I remember my father driving me over the Tamar Bridge between Plymouth and Saltash when I was about 16 and there were a number of old grey navy destroyers at anchor in the Hamoaze. That is the first time I can remember descriptive words just popping in to my mind.


Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us? 

I am writing a follow-on from my first book called The Imperative. It’s based up on the race for the atomic bomb in WWII but with a different perspective.


Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Keeping up the level of interest and intrigue between chapters.


Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? 

From a purely escapist perspective it has to be Bill Bryson. His wit and sense of humour just plucked from everyday life is a joy.


Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? 

Interestingly the ideas for, and the content of, my book is largely based up on the travelling I have done during my career. Certainly a trip to Porthcurno Telegraph Station a few years ago was the primary catalyst for the location.


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I had a professional designer do the cover. There is a real skill in the layout and impact that I don’t have.


Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

I have to be in the right frame of mind and have complete quiet. Without both I can stare at the screen for ages and nothing happens.


Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?  

There is a saying that everyone has a book in them.


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

When the concept of a story comes to mind write it down. Create a folder on your computer / device and add to it as your story line develops. Layout chapter headings when something new comes to mind and you’ll be surprised how it starts to take shape.


Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

A big thank you for buying the book and I really hope you get enjoyment from the characters, plot and location. You can contact me on my website if you have any comments. I’d love to hear from you.


Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?  

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. I’m not sure how old I was, maybe 8 or 9, but I remember crying when Jody had to shoot his pet deer. A real coming of age classic.


Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Laughter for me comes from escapism; ‘Only Fools and Horses’ and ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue’.  Classic easy listening comedy.


Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would like to meet and why? 

My maternal grandfather; to ask him about the action he saw in WW1. I am piecing it together from his service record and the Regimental diary. He was in the thick of it so must have seen / done some pretty unpleasant things.


Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why? 

Loving husband, father and grandfather.


Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

I’m an avid family tree researcher both for my side of the family and my wife’s.


Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?  

Action and adventure like the Bourne series and the later Bond films.


Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music?

Seasonal food cooked well. My wife is a chef so I am lucky enough to taste all sorts of wonderful things. My taste in music is rooted in the 70s and 80s. I do think Adele is an amazing talent and her music is wonderful.


Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?  

I have come to writing later in life after a 40 year career in mining.


Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? 

Yes, my website can be found at


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