The short version
Patrick Sherriff survived 13 years working for newspapers in the US, UK and Japan. Between writing and illustrating textbooks for non-native speakers of English he releases Hana Walker mystery novels, short stories, essays and just now, an adult colouring book. He lives in Japan with his wife and two daughters.
The longer version
Patrick Sherriff graduated from the University of Reading, UK, although that was nothing to do with him, really. He started taking a US Studies major and British History minor at Bulmershe College of Higher Education. This is now a car park for a housing estate. But its first step along the road to oblivion was selling out to the more prestigious university the year he was due to graduate.
But no matter the prestige, the only jobs forthcoming back in the John Major years in Leicester for him were in the Fresha Bread Factory or behind the bar at the Clarendon Hotel. His first proper job was as a reporter for the Log Cabin Democrat of Conway, Arkansas. He wrote obituaries, weather reports and fetched biscuits for the real reporters. Then, also nothing to do with him, Bill Clinton was elected President and suddenly Arkansas was on the map.
But this new rise in prestige once more had no impact on his journeyman trajectory, and he duly landed his second proper job as a reporter at the Jacksonville Patriot in Arkansas, but now covering the world’s largest C-130 Air Force base and its 30,000 drums of Agent Orange that were seeping into the groundwater. This is where he became an award-winning journalist. Though not for the obvious Pulitzer-prize story festering on his doorstep, but for the headline “Pot-belly pig proponents pass pork to politicians.” Arkansas AP Third Place Best Headline for Small Dailies 1995.
Other career highlights? He managed to last nine months at Voice+ The Magazine of Computer Telephony before hanging up and heading off to Japan. There he taught English at Berlitz and was a copy editor at the Daily Yomiuri, the English language translation of the Japanese language Yomiuri Shimbun, the world’s best-selling newspaper (if you believe what you read in the papers, which you probably shouldn’t).
Then it was back to Blighty and stints as a sub-editor at the Birmingham Post, Nottingham Evening Post and Derby Evening Telegraph. It was there that he finally learnt how to write news copy and it was not what he really wanted to do with his life.
So it was back to Japan to do something independent. Teaching English by day and writing by night fit the bill. And something strange happened. He started to enjoy writing again.
He has written a novel and edited two anthologies about the Japan earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown and written a diary of a Japanese general election, and a travelogue of a trip through the tsunami-hit areas of northern Japan. His latest work is The Zen of Ranieri, an adult colouring book celebrating the triumph of Leicester City Football club in winning the English Premiership.
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