Before giving writing a go, Jim Moran was a civil engineering surveyor, working on major roads, motorways and airfields both in the UK and overseas between 1970 and 2010 – but he’s now happily retired.
So what prompted his shift to the literary? ‘I never considered writing until I was approached by Military Illustrated magazine to write some articles on the US Marine uniforms and equipment,’ explains Jim. ‘This resulted in a full-blown book in 1992, Uniforms and Equipment of the US Marine Corps in World War Two.’
Following the publication of his latest book, US Marine Corps Women’s Reserve: They Are Marines, Jim was honoured with an award from the Women Marines Association for exceptional services to women of the marine corps.
Jim’s particular area of historical interest is the Pacific War during WWII, which led to the involvement of the US Marines and their island-hopping campaign. It may seem a vast area of research, but Jim isn’t fazed by this. ‘I don’t have any creative rituals or anything – it’s usually a case of getting started and then it just flows.’
His interest in the war extends to his reading as well as his writing life too. ‘I mostly read non-fiction unit histories and personal memoirs, primarily centred around US Marines and their specialist units.’
A Yorkshire native, Jim loves the people and the beauty of the region, especially Scarborough Castle, which is his favourite view.
‘My ideal weekend in Yorkshire would be a visit to Scarborough, a fun-filled day at the shops and amusements, followed by a wonderful meal at Café Fish and then a good night’s sleep after a day of sea air,’ says Jim.
His book can be purchased from Pen & Sword here.