I had the opportunity to read a fabulous book, Bobbyjac, A wild romp about two ex-cons, their life, loves, and possible fall from the moral high ground of going straight. You can read my review here. Normally I like to torture authors on the radio, that was not practical as David lives on a remote island in the Atlantic Ocean. The solution was to do the interview in email.

Simon) before we discuss Bobbyjac, I’d love to find out a little about you, I suspect that A.E Snelling-Munro might possibly be a nom de guerre, but what do I know… So tell me a little about yourself (bio)

David) After leaving school I spent 5 years as an Indentured apprentice to the motor industry. 5 Years was quite enough so on completion (1966) I on entered the Police service as a full term career copper.  I retired in 1994 and took up new ventures. inventor with many concepts – www.ellisday.com refers and many other interests including serious DIY, Family history, writing including verse, lampoons and the idiocies of British politics.

S) If you want idiocy in politics you should spend some time in the U.S., it is Mr Toads Wild Ride all day every day. So, lets talk names, How does David Sykes morph into A.E. Snelling-Munro?

D) Simple my mother’s family name is Snelling – (I knew both grandparents) and her fathers initials were A.E.

My father’s mother’s maiden name is Munro (Both fathers parents died before I was born).

S) In my review I make little reference to Gypsies, but Gypsies are an important part later in the plot. I grew up in rural oxfordshire. My dad owned a Pub, my uncle owned a pub, and my cousin owned a pub. We understood the gypsies, poachers, and land owners. They all had a vested interest in keeping the pub owner sweet. Where did you get your knowledge of the Gypsies from?

D) I acquired the expertise and knowledge of the gypsy, which became an intense part of my policing career; this helped to propel me to a level of being a thief catcher which resulted in some high profile cases and successful associations with numerous other British police forces. The work added greater thought to memory patterns, requirements and descriptive, you could not work among such people with pen and paper this was about trust, so the memory had to be taught in other ways of capturing information in the long term of facts and detail and of course recognition of the individual was vital in identification.

S) Where did the idea of the title Bobbyjac come from? It has been my experience that authors write about subjects they know best. I know some ex mobsters, and they could not write a love story on a dare.

D) Policing is about being a ‘Jack of all trades’ – Policing today sadly represents more social work and has become too political by idiots denoting their own agendas in destroying the known established routes to good policing, a little knowledge is dangerous and of course the politician is the worst kind for self promotion – British Policing skills are being disregarded simply because the lay person cannot understand how it all comes together and works in the long run. Example:- ‘How do you find a needle in a haystack’ – Being a good Police Officer in having the skills can and do in time immemorial – So therefore – ‘BOBBY’ describes the copper – ‘JAC’ without the ‘K’ sounds more French and makes others work for an answer, combine the two and a new word for a British Copper.

S) I understand that you wrote Bobbyjac some years ago, why wait to publish?

D) So ‘BOBBYJAC’ was my first attempt to see whether I could write at length, as obviously in Policing and on reflection I had probably written many novels in my term of service, realising that I was able I continued with a sequel of ‘Bobbyjac’, although today it has been revamped and in parts rewritten as I have understood more of the writing craft than I did with my original work. My problem is I do not know when to stop, I can write many thousands of words in one day, although 2017 has been my nightmare year and life has become more difficult.

I submitted my work ‘BOBBYJAC’ to many publishers and of course received many rejection slips, I also had paid for appraise of my work and one particular critic who was a published crime author replied that Criminals did not act in the way I portrayed the criminal – blar – blar – blar. So I wrote back and said that I had obviously wasted my years in Policing as a known ‘Thief catcher’ in her opinion of my writing? – She never ever did reply. So after many years of trying I stopped but continued to swell my writing subjects and characters, turning the contents of a ‘Bakers’ into people, and the same with the ‘Greengrocer’, toying with the comical that one is able to draw out from the many kinds of banter we all develop and ignore. Publishers were kind enough to supply some words of comfort; mainly I was not an established name – So how does one acquire an established name in writing, if one cannot get published. So I look towards the outer world of the Alien market and hope for the greater good of the new author once I am in space.

S) the characters are so rich and the action so fast, have you optioned the movie rights? I could see this translating well to 90 mins of madness and mayhem

D) I have not optioned the movie rights – I have no idea as to how to begin in this area as I do not today have the same contacts I once had in service, although, you are so right about the characters and would make a thumping movie which could easily run into sequels should that ever be a route to commercialise the potential, again also brings into play the modern female role of criminality at home and abroad with open boards being the criminals paradise that makes crime a very lucrative market to be in – Little and often and not be greedy??

There is more to the interview however I will keep that for part 2. You can order your own copy of Bobbyjac by using the Amazon link above.


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