About Simon Petherick.
My first paid job was writing house descriptions for the local newspaper for my Dad’s estate agent business. He used to give me Luncheon Vouchers in return for copy, and once I’d moved to London, I’d spend them on chicken pies. I got a job working at Robert Hale publishers and ended up writing blurbs for Westerns: peace wouldn’t reign in Black Rook Valley until six gun shots rang in the air.
Robert Hale was a lovely place to work – I was 22 and worked directly to Mr John Hale (who has recently closed the business down sadly) who was one of the most important bosses I’ve ever had, though I never had the opportunity to tell him so. His understated intelligence and wry humour remain memorable to me: once, I threw a sickie on a Monday morning and rang in claiming food poisoning. The following day, when I appeared, he asked solicitously after my health. “Oh,” I said airily, “I think I had an allergy to something Mr Hale.” He blinked and said: “Not to the editorial department, I trust.” That was the last sickie I threw.
I was then more formally trained as a writer at the Central Office of Information (which was known in WWII as The Ministry of Information where alumni included George Orwell), where I used to write government information material, everything from Social Security advice leaflets to Royal Air Force recruitment brochures. When you worked there, you were given a copy of Their Trade Is Treachery, an MI6 guide to avoid being entrapped by Russian agents. It had great phrases in it like “Let us, then, watch the Russian Intelligence Service at work. Here we will see it in its most crude, brutal, and sordid form. Here we will see blackmailers at work, unashamed, unabashed, and inhuman.” You can get hold of a copy on Amazon here.
I have published novels, travel books, business titles and ghostwritten non-fiction titles. I was commissioned last year by a film company to write a feature film script set in Cuba in 1958 and I have two further screenplays on the go. I write occasional journalism. I’m a member of the British Association of Journalists.
I would be very happy to talk to you about future projects: ghostwriting, scriptwriting, longform copy, PR copy, communications and social media strategy. Do feel free to get in touch.
Thanks for reading.