Michael Tappenden attended a grammar school, achieved post graduate qualifications, became a member of the Chartered Society of Designers and Principal Lecturer at the Kent Institute of Art and Design, later to become the University for the Creative Arts. This might seem to be a fairly normal and respectable career except that between the first and last he also worked as a labourer, grave digger, and gardener, joined the Parachute Regiment (including a tour in the Middle East and also as part of the United Nations peacekeeping force in a civil war in Cyprus) and became a graphic and interior designer and photographer. He also taught himself to play the alto sax with great enthusiasm and a noticeable lack of technical skill. In 2010 he sat down and began to write. The explanation for this adventurous CV, probably lay with his father, Ted Tappenden who, soon after midnight on June 6th 1944 landed by glider deep in enemy territory to capture what was to become known as Pegasus Bridge. The first Allied action of D-Day. In addition, Ted earned himself a nickname for life by sending the success signal ‘Ham and Jam’.