Stephen Timmins has spent a significant portion of his adult life working in television, although colleagues and friends felt that “working” was too strong a word to use and he, himself, declines to call it a career. He has been in his time an ITV Executive Producer, a BBC Producer and, through his Independent Production Company, was jointly responsible for launching the UK’s first national cable channel and then floating a public company that owned an international science channel. For his sins he even produced classic rock videos.
From April 2021 Stephen Timmins’ books will be published by Diamond Books, an independent book publisher. Diamond Books avowed aim is to introduce new crime series and serials to the marketplace.
The first volume of his thriller series, The Fortieth Step, was published by Diamond Books in April 2021.
The Fortieth Step – Legacy. John Hannay is a loner. Strong, brilliant, tenacious and damaged, still haunted by the wreckage of his childhood.
He is also the grandson of Richard Hannay, the hero of The Thirty Nine Steps. And he’s the only man who can halt a crime intended to wreak havoc on the British economy.
As the merciless onslaught ratchets up, he discovers that he is the target of a calculated revenge attack. But revenge for what?
To find out, he must fight government corruption, scandal, fraud, murder and vengeance. And the only way to do that – is to stay alive.
The second volume – The Fortieth Step – Revenge – has also been published and the third – The Fortieth Step – Promise – is due out later in 2021
Also to be published in 2021 is the historical series, Stanwood House.
Volume One ~ Flora’s War
Volume Two ~ Kit’s War
Volume Three ~ Flora’s Peace
This trilogy follows lives from the end of the nineteenth century, through the devastation and social upheaval of 1914-18 and on to its tragic aftermath, the Second World War. It is neither a Downton Abbey reprise nor an Upstairs Downstairs chronicle. At the core of the story is the murderous impact of a disputed inheritance on the lives of a young aristocrat, Flora Smythe, and that of a villager, the ploughman, Will Cobley.
These three novels are based in a fictionalised version of the village where Stephen Timmins’ grandparents lived. One of the two central characters, Will Cobley, is named after his grandfather, born 1896, died 1984. Stephen says “I don’t think he would ever have considered himself a hero, but he ran away to war from his father’s farm in Northamptonshire and was there on the first day of the battle of the Somme. He was invalided home in 1917 with toes missing from trench foot (the polite term for gangrene) and never spoke of the war again.” It was the memory of his grandfather and his research into the pioneering work of Dr Harold Gillies that led to this trilogy.
The photos above show how badly life in the media has aged him. He is now based in a small village in North Somerset near to the city of Bristol. Here he spends much of his his time to writing – mainly e mails to (very) old friends, but also thrillers, crime novels, sagas and TV scripts.
Gillies, his surgeon colleagues and his nursing staff developed the world’s first plastic surgery unit in an attempt to repair the shattered faces of the front line troops whose cheeks and jaws were punctured and destroyed by German snipers and shrapnel in the trench warfare of France and Belgium. At a time when unprecedented amounts of money were spent in developing weapons of huge destructive power, Gillies said simply that: “I felt a tremendous urge to do something other than the surgery of destruction”.