I apologise in advance should I bore you with a brief insight into my background.
My full name is Jerzy Jan Kaminski - a mouthful even for me - and if I were to add my chosen Confirmation Name, Jósef, it would make it an even bigger morsel. Hence, my decision to sign as J.J.Kaminski - a bite rather than a chunk!
I was born in England to Polish parents and grew up in the West of the country. I married Anita twenty-five years ago. As I am writing, our wedding anniversary is around the corner - a date I would do well not to forget! We have two sons, James and Marcus.
In 2007 we decided to ‘up stakes’ and move to Malaysia. A strange decision you may say. The thing is, Anita’s brother moved here in 1991 (if my memory serves me correctly) and we consequently visited him several times. We fell in love with the country, its climate and its people. Incidentally, he married a Malay lady the month before us. They own and run a small resort on Tioman Island off the East coast - the mythical island featured in the musical, South Pacific.
We own and operate - dare I say - a modestly successful English Language Centre in Johor in the south of the country. Anita will soon be publishing her collection of witty poems entitled, A Life of Rhyme. Our son, James has always had a creative streak and like so many of his generation has been very much into gaming, and so two years ago we set up an enterprise, JClassix, which is soon to launch its first WW2 game. I’m proud to say that he designed my book covers and will also be creating the illustrations for Anita’s book. Marcus is still studying but also assists his mother with our Young Learners. His encouraging and entertaining manner make him extremely popular with the students.
I have been an avid reader since childhood, preferring to receive books for Christmas. Don’t get the wrong impression, I still received toys and enjoyed running around playing ‘Cowboys and Indians’, proudly sporting a holster and pistol, or happily pushing each other around on cobbled-together go-karts made from discarded wooden crates and old bicycle wheels. Looking back, I enjoyed a full life - always outdoors, weather permitting.
My fascination for the written word came when I was eight while bed-ridden with an injured left leg, following an accident involving a horse and a wasp. That’s another story! The available books at the time were limited to the classics for which I developed an insatiable appetite. Stories by Charles Dickens such as Oliver Twist, David Copperfield; Daniel Defoe’s, Robinson Crusoe; Alexandre Dumas’, The Three Musketeers, The Black Tulip; Victor Hugo’s, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame; Lee Wallace’s, Ben Hur; to name but a few of the many stories I poured over - often by torch-light under the blanket when I should have been sleeping.
We moved to Gloucester (the county town of Gloucestershire in the South West of England) when I was eleven, where to my delight was a well-stocked library. Most Saturday afternoons I would get on my bicycle and pedal my way there and scour laboriously through the index cards for new titles. I confess I read little during my spell in the British Army - too many activities and external interests which I shan’t expand on.
I returned to reading in earnest in my mid-twenties – sometimes getting through three to four titles a week. The assortment was wide and diverse, but I especially enjoyed works by Wilbur Smith, John Le Carré, Robert Ludlum, Len Deighton, Ken Follet, James Clavell, to name just a few. Following the emergence in the early 1980s of the Solidarity movement in Poland, I received a book from a friend entitled Poland, by James Michener. Although heavy-going at first, I fell in love with his particular style and how he weaved fictional family sagas through real history. I have since read several of his titles.
Later years saw me turn to writers like John Grisham, Tom Clancy, David Baldacci, Dan Brown, James Patterson. It’s most probably true to say that I enjoy a good international thriller.
I have now come to the point where I tell you why I decided to write my first novel. In brief, the story was inspired by my father’s experiences following the outbreak of WW2. I tried on many occasions to coerce him into writing his memoirs - sadly to no avail. He passed away in 1984. So it was many years later and in a moment of nostalgia that my family encouraged me to put fingers to keyboard. When I say fingers, I mean one finger from each hand and not all ten! Soon after I started my composition, I found myself increasingly drawn to writing and the act of storytelling. My second book entitled, Duty Bound - an international thriller - is already well underway.
I did not follow or attempt to emulate anyone’s approach - rather wrote the story as it came to me and in my own fashion.
I sincerely hope that you will enjoy the novel as much as the few I gave copies to before publishing, and I would be eternally grateful for your glowing reviews on Amazon encouraging others to purchase and enjoy the book.