David Donachie, Chair

David Donachie, Chair


David is immensely pleased to have been elected to the Management Committee of the Society of Authors and he hopes to be effective and with his colleagues improve things for us all.


Born in Edinburgh he left school aged 14 years with no qualifications but with an abiding love of history. Since then? The blurb on his first book jacket said he had more jobs than birthdays; decorator, salesman, truck driver, ice-cream vendor, cleaner, packer, theatre worker and indifferently successful entrepreneur. Once asked by a radio interviewer why he had become a writer, he could only reply: 'Desperation. I’ve tried everything else.'

His first novel came about by accident; he sat down to write a radio play he ended up six weeks later with a 400-page novel, subsequently offered for, that offer turned down. If in hindsight that seems foolish, it made sense at the time. He can now list some 19 published novels under his own name, mainly naval fiction, the same number again under the pen names of Jack Ludlow and Tom Connery, all still in print and available as ebooks, as well as co-authoring a trio of ghosted SAS titles.

David has had novels bought and paid for, sent back, in one case twice, to then finally see daylight through a third publisher. If he had not had the backing of the SoA on one occasion he would have been unable to threaten a publisher trying to cheat him out of £15K. He had and was paid so he feels a personal debt to the organisation as well as a professional one.

Having been with two of the large trade houses he now publishes with a relatively small but highly efficient house and does so without the aid of an agent, negotiating his own contracts.