In the door, waiting to leave a plane the hard way. Nowhere he'd rather be.MARK CHARTERIS is a business consultant with a background writing marketing campaigns and crunching Big Data. He lives in London, in a ‘hood where the Wharf, the Gherkin and the Shard are all visible from his rooftop: constant reminders of his hometown’s place in global business.

Mark has been a freelancer most of his adult life, and it’s let him travel further and have more fun than most wage slaves. (He’s lived in six countries and explored sixty more, mostly by bus and backpack.) He started writing fiction as a lifestyle thing: 4×4′ing across the desert or taking the night train to Paris is even more fun when you can expense it as research.

(That’s Mark modelling most of the Rayner photos on this site. Although Rayner’s twice as smart, ten years younger, and five times better looking.)

Mark’s approach to fiction is that if you want to write it, first, go and do it. If a character’s got to pack a parachute in a confined space, get down the dropzone and fool around with a canopy until you’re sure it’s possible. If he’s climbing a wall, get down the bouldering centre and do an equivalent climb, writing down the sequence of moves you made. If it’s a Glock he’s using, put in some practice rounds to get a feel for every chock and click it makes. Today’s technology, entertainment and sport possibilities, and always-on information sources make research faster and easier than ever before.

Outside the office, Mark climbs walls, practices close-combat, and jumps out of planes. (Well, it’s a hobby.) And that’s what kicked off the idea for Gabe Rayner.

Freefalling at minus 20 with the alti on 9,000, Mark wondered: what if someone did this stuff seriously?

Rayner's on top of the world. But he worked hard to get there.By “stuff”, he meant someone who takes self-actualisation to extremes. Like a business consultant who treats close-combat and free-running as tools of the consulting trade no different to a four-box matrix or an MBA. Who uses military- and police-style investigation and infiltration tactics to achieve business goals. Skills not learned at West Point or GCHQ, but from ideas he’s developed and put into practice as a truly self-actualised individual?

There must be someone out there like that.

And if there isn’t, it’s time to invent one.

After all, it’s been sixty years since Bond and there hasn’t been a proper British action hero since.

That’s the reason for Gabe Rayner. A different kind of business consultant. One who approaches the everyday tasks of business strategy with a certain… creativity. And who believes, deep down, that anyone can be an action hero.

Visit Mark’s author page at or >>