Colin Bateman grew up in the pleasant seaside town of Bangor in Northern Ireland. Ten miles away, the IRA, the UDA and the UVF were blowing Belfast apart, but he was more concerned with making his first million through the GBA – the Gerbil Breeding Association (sadly short-lived when his gerbils turned out to be cannibals).Â
Inspired by All the President’s Men and The Odessa File to become a crusading journalist, Bateman joined the local paper when he was a seventeen-year-old punk rocker, where instead of bringing down Presidents and finding Nazis, he found himself being hunted down by the notorious Kilcooley Strollers, a dance troupe with an axe to grind.
So close to the Troubles, yet so far away – Thunder and Lightning is the story of one boy’s journey through the rather soft side of life in a town which lacked tough streets but boasted many cul-de-sacs. A town where an occasional terrorist bomb was seen as an opportunity to profiteer and where his father became a paramilitary by accident.Â