Born in North London, Derek Ansell was educated locally and attended St. Martin’s School of Art in Charing Cross Road, Central London. He worked as a commercial artist for a few years before moving into sales in London, before re-locating to Preston, Lancashire where he spent six years. He moved back south to Newbury, Berkshire and is domiciled there today. Although he spent many years as a Sales Representative and Area Supervisor for an international office equipment manufacturer he began writing relatively late in life and published his first novel, The Whitechapel Murders in 1999. Published by Citron Press, the book was a fictional account of the Jack the Ripper murders in London in 1888. Citron Press went into liquidation in 2001 but a new, self- published edition is now available.
A year or so earlier he began writing features for Jazz Journal, an international, specialist jazz magazine and gradually expanded his contributions to include interviews with musicians, book and record reviews and obituaries and is now a main contributor. He also writes regularly for the Newbury Weekly News, a high circulation local paper covering live classical and jazz concerts and theatre productions, amateur and professional. The jazz writing led, eventually, to the publication of two biographies of jazz musicians: Workout-The Music of Hank Mobley and Sugar Free Saxophone- The life and music of Jackie McLean, both published by Northway Publications, London in 2008 and 2012 respectively. Workout was reprinted by Northway in 2015. He has also contributed to a Canadian jazz magazine and has written sleeve notes for jazz CDs occasionally, the most recent being a new tribute to Mobley by Israeli tenor saxophonist Eli Degibri, due for release in 2018.
In 2013 he published My Brother’s Keeper, a novel about a young woman who becomes seriously involved with two unstable men, one a suicide. It was published by Chiado Publications, Portugal. A novel about Jane Seymour, Henry VIII’s third wife, The Queen At Leisure was self- published through Canaan Star Publishing and a new edition is now available from Fiction Editions, Germany. A second historical novel The Bradgate Heiress is a fictional account of the last five years in the life of Lady Jane Grey, relative of Henry VIII and Queen of England for just nine days in 1553. It is planned for publication by Fountain Blue Publishing in California in 2018. A further two novels, one with a theme of dealing with prostate cancer are as yet, unpublished.