I’m from the north of England, with some Highland Scot and Hebridean thrown in for good measure.
I began reading at three – kiddies’ stories, folktales, comics, ancient myths, anything with a narrative. I read all the classics I’m ever going to read between the ages of fifteen and seventeen at my local library.
William Gibson is a recurring favourite, a year or two ago I read the entire output of Joe Abercrombie. I’ve just completed John Buchan’s Dickson McCunn novels. I enjoy generic thrillers.
I like anything that tells a story.
I have a compulsion to tell stories that is fuelled by a lifelong habit of observing people, listening to them, picking things up from random conversations, and then asking myself… “what happens next?”
I enjoy rewriting myths and running with characters from other novels too, playing around with archetypes, reframing them, and sitting back to see what occurs. Some stories are based on people I know. A novel I’m currently rewriting is at least partially based on a friend of mine who over a period of time became a very bad man, and I thought, what would happen if he decided to embrace good, turn toward the light? How would he redeem himself? And how would the universe respond?
Some stories such as Down By The River or Plot are autobiographical – they’re episodes from my own life – but others, Zippo or When You Cry You Say Goodbye, come from dreams.
Workwise, I’ve done all the things that would-be writers tend to do: barman, postman, labourer. I teach English part-time, which pays the rent. I spend a lot of time reading; Fridays I busk, though that might be ending soon, and most days I walk my border terrier Angus.
I plan to spend the next few years completing the six or so novels that I’ve already got planned.
Then I’m going to stop writing and just read.