Gus Grenfell (John Grenfell Smith) comes from a Scots family, though he was born and brought up in England. He now lives on the Isle of Arran, with four generations of the family.
Gus had early ambitions to be a writer, but they were put on hold - though not forgotten - when the exigencies of daily living claimed other priorities. And brought much-needed experience.
He spent many years smallholding, renovating ancient farm houses in the Yorkshire Pennines and raising six children with his wife Tessa. As well as this, Gus found time to be an English teacher, and a director (eventually Chair) of the Ecology Building Society. He has also worked with school refusers and adults with learning difficulties, and as a folk musician (where he also honed his story-telling skills) and a market researcher.
His teaching experience covered the full secondary age range, including pupils of the highest and the lowest academic abilities. This has been of particular benefit on school visits and workshops.
Since leaving teaching Gus has concentrated on writing, with a prediliction for historic fantasy. These stories are set in real times and places, where weird, surprising and unsettling things happen. They are usually based on a blend of myth, folklore and belief of the times and his own conjurings. He has been told it can be difficult to tell what is historic and traditional and what is dredged up from the depths of his own murky imagination. Sometimes he's not sure himself.
His work is accessible to readers on either side of the Primary/Secondary divide. It includes short stories and poems in various anthologies and his novel Woodenface (Usborne 2007).
Contact details for enquiries: Bheinn Ard, Lochranza, Isle of Arran KA27 8JF 07833 568518 firstname.lastname@example.org