Here are some things about me that have shaped my writing. I live in England, but I’m a descendant of many generations of Northern Irish family, mostly from counties Antrim and Down. I lived in Belfast until I was nine years old, during the height of the “Troubles”; this affected me profoundly and has driven my need to write my first novel.
I come from a family and a region with a strong storytelling and oral history tradition; some might say that the family variety tends more to the fairytale, but tales of Leprechauns hastily glimpsed from the back of a motorbike have shaped me, for better or worse!
I’ve always had a love of reading and writing and tried to do both before I’d learned how- I would copy out the alphabet on scrap paper, and peer hard at books, yearning for the day when I could start school and learn how to read all those wonderful words.
My first foray into competitive writing was winning best in category (10-11-year-old) at junior school for a short story based on a three-word prompt (church, rat, candlestick.) The judges praised the story as “enjoyable and funny.” My first real encouragement to write came shortly after from my first secondary school English teacher, Mr. Church, who inspired me to read more widely and wrote on my 1980 report book that I must “nurture my natural gift for writing.” Thank you, Mr. Church, I still cherish your support.
I’ve published non-fiction articles on a range of health and wellbeing subjects, for UK and US publications. I’m now concentrating on my real love, fiction; my first novella, a historical fiction Sci-Fi, The Battle of Watling Street, was published in 2017 and is now available to buy on Amazon. I’m currently writing my first novel, And the Buntings Flew. I’m also writing a contemporary Sci-Fi novel, The Bondage of The Soil, the modern-day sequel to The Battle of Watling Street.
I enjoy writing short and flash fiction; you can read a selection of my published stories here.
I’m the editor and creator of a new (2016) flash fiction site Strippedlit500, which publishes flash fiction stories up to 500 words.
I still work full-time for a London-based utility firm, where I gained my MBA in 2010. I’m married with one son and two cats, and in my spare time, I read voraciously. I’ve challenged myself to read all the titles on every “Top 100 novels” list I can find. I love making things grow, travelling to new places with lots of galleries and museums, swimming, and walking. Making preserves and cordials from the good things I grow and find in hedgerows is a pleasant way to combine several of these interests.