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John McBride is David Chilcott’s fictional hero who has appeared in every book so far.

John’s details CV

  • Age 41 
  • Born: York 
  • School: St Peters 
  • First Job: Joined the SAS Regiment after sixth form 
  • Commissioned and reached rank of Captain. Fought in Iraq. 
  • Retired to become a full time artist (watercolour) after he met his current agent, who handles all his output. 
  • Single (divorced) 
  • Own house in Skipton, North Yorks, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. 
  • Loves his life of painting, but misses the excitement of the army, so is often deflected from painting when an adventure looms.

My Life
By John McBride

As you might guess my father was of Irish stock, but his ancestors had lived in Scotland ever since the potato famine made emigration a good idea. My mother is a Yorkshire woman, born in York, and still lives there. My father died in an accident some years ago. My Mother didn’t remarry, and still hasn’t. She runs an upmarket boutique, but has enough staff that she doesn’t have to attend work every day. She has a wide circle of friends, and is always organizing some charity or fighting some wrongdoing by the government of the day.

I got into art when I met a pal in the army, who was a good amateur, and he took his paintbox with him everywhere. In the army you get some remakable painting opportunities. Those of you who have been in the armed services will know that ninety percent of the time is waiting around, and only tenpercent fighting. I would join Nigel, my friend on his painting excursions. I loved to watch him put a scene onto paper with apparent ease, and he made the result better than the actual scene before him. I told him that I would like to paint, and he gave me some advice as to paints, brushes, paper qualities and the like. I copied down everything he told me, and on my next leave went to a local art store and bought the materials. My first results were lamentable, but I went back to the shop and bought some DVD sets that I had seen. They were of famous artists painting pictures, and explaining as they went along, why they were using certain techniques. I watched each DVD several times before I picked up a paintbrush again. This time, because I was doing some things right, my painting improved by leaps and bounds. After some months, I plucked up courage to show some of my paintings to Nigel, and I like to think he was impressed, and not just saying what I wanted to hear. I continued painting on every possible occasion, and my work certainly improved.

On one leave, I was painting in the Dales near my home. Of course there are always lots of tourists in this beautiful countryside, so a painter in action always draws several onlookers. You get used to it, and it never phases me.

I was concentrating on finishing a painting, and a voice at my elbow said:


“I like your work. Are you represented by an agent?”

“No, why do you ask?”

“Well if you want me to sell your paintings, I think I could handle all your output.”

The long and short of it was, I took him home with me, and gave him about forty of my stack of finished work, and told him I was back on leave in a month’s time and I would phone him to see how it was going.

When I contacted him he said he was pleased to hear from me, and could he have some more paintings as he had sold them all. He told me how much he owed me, and promised that this was just the start. So I went back to the army and told them I was resigning. This was retirement, painting wasn’t working, it was fun.

Of course after a while, I hankered after some excitement. David Chilcott has written about some of my exploits.

What John McBride says about Chilcott’s Books

Murphy’s Heist: David didn’t make it look as though I was doing enough to catch Murphy, but in the end, I actually did catch him and turn him over to the police. Accidentally, I agree; I was in the right place at the right time. That happens a lot, in my life. Also I did keep Murphy on the run.

Cruise the storm: Now that was a good time. It was Ian Smith, my agent who encouraged me to take the job of artist on a cruise ship, because that way he would get some Mediterranean paintings, and he wouldn’t have to pay travel costs. Still, it turned out to be full of excitement, and I did my bit as an ex-soldier. Who would have thought that a cruise ship I was on would be hi-jacked?

Find my Brother: David Chilcott is still writing this novel, but the bit he’s let me see, gives me top prominence. Let’s just say, she was hard to say no to, and I ended up in Russia.