With no academic background Lionel Lazarus picked up his writing skills while working as a Toolpusher on the North Sea Rigs. Following a long career working off-shore, Lionel returned to work on-shore in the Health and Safety profession. He recently retired to work full time on his writing. When not writing, Lionel loves to travel and to walk in the mountains. He lives with his son in Dublin, Ireland.
I was born and raised in Dublin.
At sixteen, in secondary school, I started hill walking and rock climbing. It gave me the taste for adventure and the great outdoors. Completely immersed in my love of mountaineering, I never made it to university. I was a typical seventies teenager, rebelling against everything, totally exasperating my poor parents.
On the advice of a friend who worked in the North Sea, my parents suggested I should try working on the Rigs; I jumped at it, it appealed to my sense of adventure and it paid well. In October 1974, at the age of nineteen, armed with the addresses of Drilling Contractors and the name of a local pub, I set off for Great Yarmouth in England. I was working off-shore within four days. I still remember that dramatic first shift as a Roustabout and the beginning of a career where I worked my way from deck hand (Roustabout) to manager (Toolpusher). Through that time I lived in Aberdeen, Belfast, Dublin, Malta and Singapore working predominately in the North Sea, but also in the Middle and Far East.
In the latter years of my oil field career I finally developed some writing skills. Born from the necessity of a changing industry, I was tasked with writing technical procedures and managing the daily “paper work” our drilling operations required. With the help and encouragement from the onshore Rig Superintended, I spent many a late night on a computer writing work procedures. The Spell Checker and Thesaurus helped me over a literary block, giving me the tools to write something legible. I was terrible at written English in school, I couldn’t spell or understand basic grammar, and it is something I still struggle with today.
After twenty six years in the drilling business, unexpected events in family life forced me into a career change. In 2001 I started a new occupation as a Health and Safety Advisor in the booming Construction business in Ireland. The new career involved work on some of the large Multi-national construction projects and I found myself generating more and more technical documents. My writing ability, while uncreative and focused on accuracy, continued to develop.
From an early age I loved to read. Although I had difficulty writing, I found reading stimulated my imagination. I always had a book, whether I was in a tent, on a train or a rig, there was always a book. My reading passion is science fiction. When away on holiday, I devour seven books over two weeks. Most of them are science fiction by Indi Authors. It is the love of reading the works of those Indi Authors that spurred me on to write my own novel.
My daughter lives in Christchurch and I have visited her twice in the past two years. After the first visit I realised Christchurch and New Zealand would make the perfect setting for Project Anan. I loved the days writing Project Anan. I hope you get as much enjoyment reading it as I did writing it.