Michael Sedgwick was born in 1938 in Hampshire, England, home of Jane Austen, one of his literary heroines. From the age of three in the early war years, he remembers spending many nights in a cold, damp backyard air-raid shelter, listening to bombs falling all around as the German Luftwaffe tried to destroy Britain’s most important naval base in his home town of Portsmouth. Those memories are contained in one of his short stories, The Shelter.
At age twelve, reading Daphne du Maurier’s romantic suspense novel, My Cousin Rachel, created a lifelong desire to write his own romantic suspense story.
At age fifteen, he joined a Royal Air Force cadet program and qualified for a pilot’s license before he was old enough to hold a driving license for his first car: an Austin Healey coupé. During training, he experienced some hair-raising adventures. His lucky escape from an uncertain end, after being totally lost in fog when his gyro compass failed, is the basis for another of his short stories, Tiger in the Fog. On the 1955 anniversary of the Battle of Britain, he joined an RAF squadron of WWII aircraft celebrating the day, and lay prone in the bomb aimer’s position as his aircraft flew over Buckingham Palace. In his senior years at grammar school (equivalent to Senior High School in the U.S.) his desire to write found an outlet in editing and publishing a literary journal. He was also an ardent biker and a participant in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzeance while at college in London University.
In 1961, Mike joined a multinational manufacturing company and spent thirty-seven years in a technical capacity, living and working in Wales, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and The United States. His writing experience during those years was in the form of technical reports and international communications. In 1981, he moved permanently to Saint Paul, Minnesota and made business visits to most countries except those behind the Iron Curtain at that time. During the 1970s and 80s his reading preferences included works by John Le Carré, Jane Austen, P. D. James, John Updike, Scott Turow, and Len Deighton among many others. His interest was particularly sparked by Len Deighton’s anti-war novel, The Bomber, which he believes is one of the finest novels he has ever read.
In the 1980s, Mike began to write short stories, some of which were eventually published under the titles Of Heaven & Earth and Report from Mars. His early desire to write romance was finally satisfied during a 2005 return to Hampshire, when he visited Jane Austen’s home in Chawton. Twelve miles away, in the village of Bramdean, he discovered the small church of Saints Simon & Jude, built in 1170 A.D. While seated on an ancient wooden pew, he sensed around him the spirits of thirty generations of parishioners baptized, married, and buried there. This experience inspired him to write his first novel, Bramdean, a late 18th Century romance, which won first prize from Arizona Authors’ Association in 2010. His last novel, Light on a Distant Shore is set in future Arizona and deals with romance, remorse, and revenge.
Mike Sedgwick’s writings span a wide range of fictional subject matter with novels focused on political intrigue, action and romance while his short stories cover humor, drama, murder, adventure, science-fiction, and horror. His latest novel, Time & Again, is a carefully woven blend of romance and mystery, set in the Gower Peninsula of South Wales, UK, and published in April 2018. In June 2018, he also published an edited collection of his short stories under the title At the End of the Day. This collection also contains Mike’s essays, memoirs, and poems written over the past 30 years.
Mike and his wife, after 55 years of married life, now live in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains, 20 miles north of Tucson, Arizona. Mike is a member of the Arizona Authors Association and of the Society of Southwestern Authors.
FAVORITE BOOKS BY OTHER AUTHORS:
The Bomber by Len Deighton
Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré
The Way Through The Woods by Colin Dexter
The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
In The First Circle by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen