Author trivia – Ken McCoy

Ken on booksAmong the many things I’ve done professionally, I used to be a free-lance greetings-card illustrator, designing hundreds of cards for publication all over the world. Back in 1977 I designed a Valentine card and gave my wife, Val, one of my illustrator copies. The following year I gave her the very same card which she’d kept, with it being my own design, and I wrote her a cryptic message inside which read thus: Eiffel foyer deny Time etch ooh! Which I knew Val would read as meaning, “I fell for you the night I met you.’ 

I’ve been sending her the same card every year since, with increasingly cryptic messages.   My latest effort being this: “Gnome hatter howl ate tit tizz, or how whirly, or eve niff it’s not lay tat tall. Ice till lieu view. Eye shudder tooth ink wot eyed dewey few weren’t tear.”  No matter how late is, or how early, or even if it’s not late at all, I still love you. I shudder to think what I’d do if you weren’t here.’

Yeah, I know it’s childish but it’s what we do.

Anyway, I’ve forgotten how, but about ten years ago our local newspaper got to hear of it and devoted the whole centre spread to my cards and their cryptic messages. Since then, every year up to 2014, some publication or other has contacted us wanting to write a Valentine piece about us. With Valentine’s Day being in February this culminated in my being asked to be Mr February in the 2015 Dull Men of Great Britain Calendar. I was reluctant at first but was eventually persuaded and ended up being interviewed by various papers plus several radio and TV stations, including national TV News. This year, 2016, it all seems to have died a death, thank goodness.


Ken McCoy’s latest title, Dead or Alive, features DI Sep Black and is set in Leeds. For more information on this title visit our website


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