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About Colin M. Drysdale

***News: The Outbreak (the follow-up to the award-winning For Those In Peril On The Sea) will be published on the 21st of July 2014. For more information, click here.

Colin M. Drysdale is a marine biologist and author. While he has published countless academic papers and several technical books (under his real name), For Those In Peril On The Sea is his first published work of fiction. He chose to publish this book under a pseudonym in order to separate it from his academic and technical writing. After all, those who enjoy his fictional work are unlikely to want to read his Ph.D. thesis on an obscure group of poorly known whales.

He has been a marine biologist for almost twenty years and has worked in places as far apart as Scotland, St. Helena, the Pacific Northwest of Canada and Labrador. He has always had a fondness for the marine environment and is a keen sailor (whenever he gets the opportunity to do so). Given this background it is probably unsurprising that his first novel is primarily set at sea.

However, For Those In Peril On The Sea is far from your typical sailing story. Instead, it's a tale set in a post-apocalyptic world where the land is no longer safe.  This comes from the author's love of post-apocalyptic fiction, and particularly those which fall within the zombie sub-genre, which he puts down to watching the BBC's six part adaptation of The Day Of The Triffids when it was first broadcast in the early 1980s. 

While the story and characters in For Those In Peril On The Sea are fictional, the landscape in which it is set is real and is based on the seven years the author spent on and off living and working in the northern Bahamas. The intimate knowledge he gained of the geography of this region is deeply infused into the book and in many ways plays a key role within it. This is not surprising, given that he has spent the last ten years in his academic life writing and teaching about how landscapes can influence where different species occur. This comes across in For Those In Peril On The Sea, where the landscape plays as much a part in how the story develops, and particularly the final outcome, as the characters themselves.

For Those In Peril On The Sea was originally written as a one-off piece, but the author has come to like both the world he created for it and the characters that it is populated with so much, that he is considering expanding it into a four book series, with each book concentrating on life during a different phase of the global epidemic that causes the collapse of civilisation. He's currently working on the second book in the series which will be set in and around his native Glasgow. As with For Those In Peril On The Sea, this will primarily based on and around the sea, and will be intimately linked to the local landscapes in which it is set.  For this, he will draw on his many and varied experiences of life in western Scotland, and particularly the time he as spent exploring the many islands that lie off its coast.  While the book, which is scheduled for publication in the first half of 2014, will introduce a new set of characters, those from the first book will make a re-appearance in the third book of the series.

He currently lives in Glasgow, where he runs a small business providing training for ecologists. While he is still actively involved in marine biological research, he now splits his time between his academic work and his fiction writing. He feels that this gives him a broader perspective on life that improves his work in both these spheres.


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Last modified: 03/14/14