David Paul Collins travels the world as the CEO and managing director of Active Living International, an advisory firm finding “solutions for an ageing planet”. He has been in the business of senior living for more than 30 years and was a co-founder of ARV Assisted Living—at one time ranked among the five largest assisted living companies in the US. Prior to working in the industry of senior living David had a career in international merchant banking, centered in the turbulent middle east. That experience led to An Improbable Spy, his latest book.
An Improbable Spy draws on David’s adventures in the Middle East at the time of the Islamist Revolution in Iran. In the book, protagonist, Jack Devlin escapes the chaos in Tehran during the takeover of the US Embassy by radical Islamic students. Entering a devil’s bargain with the CIA to rescue his girlfriend, Farideh, he agrees to steal the ledger of buyers and sellers from the world’s most powerful arms dealer, Mustafa Khaki. He happens to be Farideh’s father.
David’s enjoyment of writing short stories and poetry expanded to a fictionalized memoir in his first book, Shanghaied. It is a coming-of-age story based on his days as a young teenager sailing the world on a Liberian freighter, the S/S Iron Prince, the largest ship in the world. We meet the fictional protagonist, Jack Sligo, when he lands in Mobile, Alabama, looking for a summer job on a cruise ship and is shanghaied onto an African freighter. Unbeknownst to Jack, the ship’s bo’sun, Manor Nelson, a Cayman Islander, protects him from members of the crew who would have made Caribbean pirates seem like drawing room gentlemen.
When David isn’t traveling for business he is traveling for pleasure with his wife, Victoria, also an author. Whether in the air or at sea, they both enjoy writing, so … no downtime in their travels.