“Derive happiness in oneself from a good day's work, from illuminating the fog that surrounds us.”
– Henri Matisse
Somewhere back in the mists of time I was born in Harrow, and spent most of my childhood there in the great sprawling metropolis that is Greater London. I grew up in a family where art was always a huge influence. Tapping into this, I finished college with a fine art degree tucked into my back pocket. Faced with the prospect of actually trying to make a living from my talents, I plunged into the emerging games’ industry back in the eighties. It was a start of a long career and I produced a graphics for many of the top selling games on the early home computers, including Aliens and Enduro Racer. It’s really strange looking back at those early games and which look so crude now. But back then, trust me, they were considered to be cutting edge.
As the games industry exploded into the one we know today, my career went supernova with it. I worked on titles such as XCom, and set up two studios which produced Warzone 2100, and the Conflict: Desert Storm series. I think I probably have somewhere in the region of forty published titles to my name. There are so many memories, both highs and lows, but an amusing one that springs to mind was after an interview about the latest film tie-in I was working on, a journalist headed the piece about me by saying:
“Nick Cook is Indiana Jones.”
I think he was being ironic.
As great as the games industry is, a little voice kept nagging inside me and at the end of 2006, I finally gave in to it and walked out of my games studio for the last time. I was at last ready to pursue my other passion as a full time career – writing.
So on a chilly December morning, I started my first novel. Now, several years later, I have a number of manuscripts at various stages of completion, but the one that seems to be grabbing everyone’s interest currently is Cloud Riders, a tale set in Tornado Alley, where Twisters are a way of life. And then one day the tornadoes just stop! Follow my progress on the journey towards being published, in my Diary and Author’s Voice sections.
I have many interests from astronomy, to walking the long distance footpaths of England. I’ve even soloed in a light aircraft, an experience I’m tapping into now for Cloud Riders.
To summarise, as they say, pursue your dreams. You never know where you’ll end up, but always remember that the journey is half the fun.
– Nick Cook