Chris Dolley was born in Bournemouth where several attempts were made to educate him. But he was too fast, moving to Plymouth to study geography by day and become an international freedom fighter by night. To publicise student charities week Chris formed the Free Cornish Army, fooled the national press, cut the road links to Cornwall, issued passports to stunned motorists and declared Cornwall an independent nation. 'A splendid hoax,' said Punch who, after reading Chris's Free Cornish Army manifesto in the nationals, had sent journalists down to investigate.
Life then intervened and Chris worked for just enough years in the computer industry - programming, designing and managing large mainframe projects - until he could buy a smallholding and drop into a life of simple self-sufficiency and writing.
Along the way he dabbled in computer games. Writing the world's most aggressive chess program (P-K4, K-K2 then a headlong charge by a white king with only one thing on its mind - to personally strangle the black king in as few moves as possible) and starting Britain's first computer game company. The latter teaching Chris an important lesson in marketing - don't write disc-based games for the Apple when hardly anyone else in the UK has a computer let alone a disc drive.
In 1995, Chris moved his self-sufficient life to France. But within weeks of arriving, someone stole his identity, seized all his savings back in the UK and tried to transfer the funds to Spain. With the police forces of four countries arguing over whose jurisdiction the crime came under, Chris was forced to solve the case himself. Which he did, leaping at the chance to travel back and forth across the Pyrenees, interview bank managers and barmen, decrypt fax headers and bring the thief to justice.
Moral: you don't mess with authors who write mysteries. Or aggressive chess programs:)
Chris's first literary break came in 2002 when his short story, The Sleeper and the Flame was published in NFG. Then in 2004, Chris's SF novel, Resonance, became the first book to be plucked from Baen's electronic slushpile. Baen published the book in November 2005. He's currently working on a new SF series.
Novel, Resonance. Baen (Nov, 2005)
Short Story, “The Sleeper and the Flame”, NFG (2002)
Novel, Shift. Baen (Jul, 2007)