"I JOINED the army at 16 as a boy soldier and left in1993. My big plan after that was to take a year out go and work for this security company.
"A senior officer in the special air service suggested I write a book about my experiences of the Bravo patrol in the Gulf. That's when it all kicked off. No one - including the publishers - was expecting the success of Bravo. I enjoyed working on it so much that I decided to carry on writing.
"Since then, I've worked in Hollywood on a film called Heat and have been involved with the making of the film Bravo Two Zero, which comes out next year with Sean Bean. Every time I open a door, another three or four doors appear, which is wonderful.
"I've had many lucky breaks. Bravo really helped springboard me into this new media life. But if you start believing the hype, you can go overboard. It's about being sensible.
"I think that commercial success is a question of being in the right place at the right time. I look at writing as a job: I start in the morning, finish in the afternoon and keep to a timetable. The work ethic that I've picked up from the army has transferred into this writing world.
"There's a saying in the army - if you start moaning, you'll be told it's tough and to get on with it. So when I start complaining, I sit down and think it's not bad at all. The best way to learn is to shut up, take in what's going on and enjoy it."