After retiring as a video producer four years ago at the age of 78, lifelong Sheffielder Gordon Ramsay decided to write a book combining his enthusiasm for American crime fiction with his work with police in Florida.
‘Have A Nice Day’ is a thriller in which the main character is a middle-aged widow in Miami.
It’s a new direction for Gordon, who has lived all his life in Ecclesall, working initially as an architect for 30 years, designing spectacular homes and commercial interiors locally and nationally.
Later he formed a video production company producing Christian programmes alongside commercial work, which took him to different corners of the world and which included government anti-terrorism training programmes for airports, ports and the Channel Tunnel.
In the 1990s, he encountered Metro Dade Police Department in Miami while creating a video for Laker Airways to help British tourists driving in Florida for the first time.
“I have enjoyed many happy holidays around Florida since then, including having a holiday villa in the Naples area. Over a decade, I came to know the area, its inhabitants and customs well. ‘Have a Nice Day!’ is the result.
“I was looking for something different from the conventional Jack Reacher macho male leading role scenario, and decided that the least likely central character might be a middle-aged widow. I had already decided it was going to be a crime novel, so setting it in Miami, with which I was familiar, I set to work.”
The grandson of the builder of much of Ecclesall Road, his work as an architect saw him design everything from the opulent Egyptian-themed Sidewalk cafe on Chapel Walk to the Embassy Suites at Gleneagles where King Hussein of Jordan honeymooned.
With award-winning videos to his name, Gordon turned to writing “with nothing better to do upon retirement”.
He continues to write at the home he shares with his wife of more than 50 years, Moira, and with a son and daughter and grandchildren living nearby. His daughter is Faye Smith whose 12-year-old daughter Gabrielle tragically died in the bath last March.
Already Gordon has started to write a follow-up to ‘Have A Nice Day’, using the four central characters. ‘Hello Sailor!’ sees them on a Caribbean cruise. “Amongst other things this features a series of bodies going overboard, which is apparently far more common than you would expect!”
The book, at £6.99, will be launched on July 4. Contact his Facebook page.