Dan Laughey is a crime writer. First and foremost. In-between times, he’s a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University where he teaches a course called ‘Youth, Crime and Culture’ among other things. He has written several books on the subject including Music and Youth Culture, based on his PhD in Sociology at Salford University. He also holds a BA in English from Manchester Metropolitan University and an MA in Communications Studies from the University of Leeds.
Before entering academia he enjoyed a brief career in public relations, became a secondary school teacher, barman, waiter, trader, door-to-door salesman, car park attendant, film extra and convenience-store manager (not necessarily in that order).
Dan was born in Otley and bred in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, a hop and a skip away from the Leeds setting of his Chloe novels. He now lives in the Leeds suburb of Guiseley and shares his time between England and Thailand, where his in-laws live. His wife and two sons keep him occupied when he’s not lecturing or writing, and all three are technologically savvier than him.
Dan’s crime writing was purely academic to begin with. He’s written about media violence and tackled the age-old concern about television and video games influencing patterns of antisocial behaviour in society. After years of research and theoretical scrutiny, he still hasn’t cracked that particular nut!
He’s also written about the role of CCTV and surveillance in today’s Big Brother world, the sometimes fraught relationship between rap music and juvenile crime, football hooliganism, and the sociocultural legacy of Britain’s most notorious serial killer – the Yorkshire Ripper.
All in all, his work has been translated into four languages (French, Hebrew, Korean and Turkish) and published in India as well as Europe and North America. He’s presented guest lectures at international conferences in Amsterdam, London, Dublin, Montreal and Bangkok, and has appeared on BBC Radio and ITV News in addition to providing expert commentary for The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post.
Despite all this intellectual stuff, Dan much prefers writing fiction. Making it up is far more fun than dissecting the real thing. As a child, he loved reading detective stories by Enid Blyton and Arthur Conan Doyle, and his crime fiction addiction was rekindled in early parenthood, after a brief flirtation with the theatre. He is particularly fond of hardboiled American pulp fiction (old and new), spy novels and psychological thrillers. He enjoys reading the works of David Goodis, Patricia Highsmith, Ross Macdonald, James Ellroy and Ian Rankin among others.
Dan’s love of crime and mystery stories has found its way into his day-to-day teaching. He educates students on the history of drugs and gang crime, the emergence of post-war countercultures like the Beats and Hippies, the golden age of film noir, and media stereotypes revolving around Generations X, Y and Z – not to mention those delinquent Baby Boomers. Needless to say, great movies like Gun Crazy and Bonnie and Clyde get screened by Dr. Laughey on a regular basis.
Dan’s hobbies include hunting for treasure at car boot sales, watching football and playing the occasional (bad) round of golf. He also enjoys running and gambling on the horses (no connection between the two) and can’t get enough of his wife’s Thai cuisine.
He can be followed on Twitter @danlaughey.