about the author
Keith Warren was born in Leigh-on-Sea in 1947, which makes him a so-called "baby-boomer" although the epithet seems increasingly inappropriate to most of his generation, as they shuffle now towards the head of the queue to collect their old age pensions.
Leigh-on-Sea was once a fishing village just to the west of Southend-on-Sea but the larger town has largely subsumed the village now. Some would say that its original, quaint character has been lost in the process. These days, it is a popular watering hole and desirable residential location for those commuting to London. There is still a fishing industry, although smaller.
The author's great grand-mother was Emma Joscelyne; the Joscelynes being one of the oldest "fishing families" in the locality. Many of his ancestors are spending eternity in the church yard of St. Clement's, the Parish Church.
His father was a keen amateur yachtsman, learning his skills the hard way on the choppy waters of The Thames Estuary. Although Keith is not a keen sailor, nevertheless, the sea is in his blood and features in much of what he writes.
He followed in his father's and uncle's footsteps, being educated at Westcliff High School for Boys in the town, a very selective grammar school. His recollections of his father's tales of the place before the Second World War and his own experiences in the sixties (and then the mid-seventies when he returned to teach there for a while) are reflected in parts of "Whispering of Fields Unsown".
He trained as a teacher and obtained an honours degree in English and Education at the University of London. He taught in several secondary schools in Essex and then in the West Country, eventually becoming a Deputy Headteacher. He is now retired.
In 1963, the author's father bought a small parcel of land in the little village of Paglesham East End, about eight miles north of Southend. He built a house there, the family moving from Westcliff in 1964. The village is on the River Roach, opposite Burnham-on-Crouch and adjacent to Potton and Foulness Islands. His father thus continued to enjoy his fascination with boats and the author was entranced by the rural, old-world atmosphere of the place (so unlike the bustle of Southend) and the extraordinary calm and loneliness of the marshlands that surround the village. This landscape shapes much of the middle chapters of "Whispering of Fields Unsown."
In 1999, the author met his Filipina wife Vivian. They live on a small island in the Western Visayas in the Philippines with their daughter Leah. They spend their time tending their beautiful garden, trying to grow pineapples, mangoes and bananas and, when this all gets too much, going to the beach to socialise with other ex-pats who have forsaken the Northern Hemisphere for warmer climes. The author's tales of life by the Sulu Sea are to be found in "High Tide under the House".