Who am I?
Like most writers I cut my teeth as a reader first. As a young boy I lost myself in the books of C.S. Lewis and Alan Garner. As a teenager I discovered Susan Hill and Tolkien before summoning the courage to dive head first into the scary world of Stephen King’s novels. The way all of these writers made me feel, the worlds they transported me to sparked my imagination and I decided that one day I wanted to make others feel the same way through my own writing.
In my mid teens I began writing short stories, toying with ideas of horror and suspense learnt from Stephen King, James Herbert and Graham Masterton. Crime novels weren’t on my radar yet. One of those early stories featured a boy addicted to heroin sitting on his bed, high on drugs, imagining an array of monsters and demons lurking under his bed. The dramatic climax and twist was that the monsters weren’t a figment of his drug induced state at all, they were real. The drugs a means of escaping them. It was naive in many ways but I loved writing it. I felt at home.
I started to write my first novel when I was in my early twenties. It was an intriguing idea but rough, not well polished at all and I didn’t finish it, despite excellent feedback from a published author friend of mine. Life took over and I went to university to study English Language and Literature in Salford. My degree course carefully selected to expose me to the wider world of writers, language and fiction. After university I started a family, a new career and my novel remained unwritten.
My passion for writing never dimished though. I started to write again a couple of years ago and the novel I had tried to write earlier came back into my imagination. The focus had shifted from a horror theme to Crime and I started to revise the concept further.
I started to devour books on the subject of writing. I read books on story structure, plot elements, Point of View, character arcs, how to write suspense, mystery, books detailing the elements of thrillers and how to write them. . You will find articles detailing some of these books elsewhere on my site.
I continued to flesh out my novel further and started working on writing it once more. I signed up for a course in novel writing with The London School of Journalism and was very fortunate to have an excellent tutor called Margaret James whose constructive criticism and praise for my work was both helpful and extremely encouraging. She assured me that my idea was a good one and that my writing was good enough to be published one day.