Hinton worked in advertising for two years, then taught English for nine years. He then worked as a professional actor and did some part-time teaching before deciding to concentrate on writing. He has written at least twenty two novels from Collision Course (1976) to Daredevil (2015) including the Buddy trilogy for teenagers and the Beaver Towers stories for younger children. His novel The Finders won the Federation of Children's Book Groups Award, and Collision Course won the Dutch Silver Pen Award. Out of the Darkness won the Lancashire Book Award and the Stockport Book Award. His novel Time Bomb, set in 1949 in the area he grew up, won the 2006 Rotherham Book Award. In 2014 his short novel Partners in Crime won the Coventry Inspiration Book Award. He has adapted some of his novels for the screen, notably Buddy which was made into a BBC television series, and Buddy's Song which was made into a feature film. Both films starred Roger Daltrey as Buddy's dad. He has also written a number of original scripts for TV and the theatre.
Hinton's work is used widely in schools, and Buddy has been one of the best selling novels for teenagers in the last thirty five years. Teachers particularly appreciate his novels because they appeal to a wide range of pupil ability and are even enjoyed by teenage boys who don't usually like reading.
Collision Course (1976) (Text was modernized from 2004 e.g. the X films became 18 films. By 2009 the vinyl records became playlists, the payphones are now mobiles and the £1 notes are just notes. The chocolate machine outside the sweet shop and the conductor on the bus which are both essential to the plot remain intact).