I started work on this way back in 2010 when we tried to sell the story of Stone's remarkable career as a marijuana-smuggler. The publishers we approached thought it too commonplace. This is a man who ran away from home at fifteen, went to the Bahamas and made a living diving for lobsters, before discovering there was more money to be made on the go-fast boats he'd seen operating off Bimini. It was only after his first trip that he realised they were smuggling bales of dope to the Florida Keys.

Having made his first million by the age of seventeen, he left the smuggling to his friends and embarked on a legitimate career as an oilfield diver. Later he branched out into treasure-hunting, rescued a luxury yacht from the bottom of a Louisiana bayou and renovated it, then established a fishing fleet off the coast of Brazil. After entering the murky waters of black-market oil trading in the Niger Delta he got into difficulties and was tempted back into the marijuana business, supervising the growing, harvesting and shipping of a $100,000,000 cargo from Thailand to Alaska. Although he completed the project undetected, netting a $10,000,000 profit, things started to go wrong when one of his buddies ratted on him in order to get a reduced sentence for another crime. Stone went into hiding, living in the French Alps, but finally had to give himself up in order to relieve the pressure on his young family. He served time – first in a Swiss prison, later in a series of United States penitentiaries – before negotiating a reduced sentence by surrendering all his assets worldwide, worth some $40,000,000. It's a remarkable story and the guy was a delight to work with.

The book is due out next spring from The History Press.