"I was 18 years old, I'd just left school and got a job in London, working in an insurance company. I was working inside - in an office! My mother thought that was like being CEO of Shell Oil.
"I was late one morning, I took a short cut through the church yard to the station to catch my train. I'd just finished reading The Sun Also Rises the night before; and here I was looking at all these gravestones, I remember thinking: Gee, we're not here very long. Better make it count.
"So I went home, told my mother I was quitting my job and going to Morocco. She damned near fainted."
After travelling through Spain and Africa, Colin hitch-hiked across Europe to Sweden to visit a girlfriend he'd met the year before on a football tour. When he finally got back home, he was still restless. After failing to make the grade as a professional football player, he travelled around Asia; his experiences in Bangkok and India later inspired his thriller VENOM, and his adventures in the jungles of the Golden Triangle of Burma and Laos were also filed away for later, the basis of his OPIUM series about the underworld drug trade.
He emigrated to Australia where he helped a mate establish a new advertising agency. "We could only afford this derelict building for an office. Once we were pitching to a client during a thunderstorm and the roof flooded. A piece of the ceiling fell down and just missed his head. Fortunately he had a sense of humour. We got the account!
[retrieved 10/15/2013 from Amazon.com]