Born in the U.K., Raymond Sawkins, far better known by one of his pen names, Colin Forbes, attended school in London. He joined the work force at 16 employed in the book and magazine publishing business. WWII saw him serving in the British Army in North Africa and the Middle East. When he was demobbed, he returned to the publishing business where he worked for the next 20 years. He started writing in his mid-40s.