I’m from the north of England, with 50% of me being a mix of Highland and Hebridean Scottish 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.
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. Others, such as Down By The River or Plot are autobiographical – they’re episodes from my own life – but and some, Zippo or When You Cry You Say Goodbye, come from dreams. Mostly though, they’re pure fiction.
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 on saxophone in Newcastle or Durham, and most mornings I walk my border terrier Angus along the beach.
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.