Today is World Book Day, so we thought it would be fun to look back through history and find out about some civil servants who dabbled as authors on the side.
In his later years, poet William Wordsworth took a job in the civil service. Another government poet was John Milton, author of "Paradise Lost". He was one of the very earliest civil servants, writing propaganda for Cromwell's Commonwealth.
Science fiction novelist Geoff Ryman, now a lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Manchester, used to work with the team that built GOV.UK's predecessor, DirectGov. He led the teams that made the first versions of the British Monarchy and 10 Downing Street websites.
In 1996, Ryman published a novel as a website: 253 is the story of an Underground train and every passenger on board it, set in the moments leading up to a disaster.
Alan Blackshaw acted as Principal Private Secretary to three government ministers and took on all sorts of other government jobs during his years as a civil servant. His passion was mountaineering, and in the mid-60s he wrote a "bible" for climbers, "Mountaineering: From Hillwalking to Alpine Climbing" (now sadly, it seems, out of print).
Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, friends and colleagues, welcome. I don’t have a Licence to Kill. But I do have a licence to open our house to friends for events such as this. And tonight, For Your Eyes Only, I also have a licence to mention the titles of every single James Bond movie in a speech.
That's just the start. You should see what he does for Moonraker.