Born in Birmingham UK in 1962, I almost immediately developed into a hyperactive demon. My mother taught me to read when I was about four; I assume to try and distract me from drawing on the walls. She placed a bookcase outside my bedroom door and I was instructed to read when I awoke before dawn. By the time I was eight I’d enjoyed all the children’s classics from Janet and John to Robinson Crusoe. My mother had made the connection between food colouring and hyperactivity by then, but my voracious appetite for books would never be subdued. By twelve I’d graduated to Lewis, Tolkein and Orwell, amongst many others and my imagination swelled under master tutelage.
But my absolute beloved was Mr.Carrol’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’, chiefly because my mind was almost as hyperactive as I slept and my dreams were a consistent source of wonderment.
My favourite lessons at school were English and Art, but I appeared to be relatively academic - I understood science - so my love of animals tipped me toward a career as a vet; it never actually occurred to me that I could write books or paint. Neither were proper jobs anyway.
My brother died when I was fourteen, he eighteen.
My veterinary aspirations vanished. I pursued Neil’s dream to become an actor. I won a scholarship to drama school and studied at the Birmingham Old Rep, then moved to London, did the audition rounds and worked with some great people in TV, Film and West End Theatre.
But I soon discovered that an actress at nearly six feet tall is no role winner when most male actors stand barely over five, so I abandoned any ideas of super-stardom and moved laterally into corporate and commercial video production. I won some blue chip clients and got the bug for writing.
I first drafted The Toy Sorcerer back in 1996, but my career path once again took a sideways move and the book was shelved.
I spent ten years restoring and eco-updating a number of Heritage buildings. The last one very nearly killed me, so I went to college to study CAD and 3D modelling/animation in order to professionally draft construction schematics. This opened up a new avenue of 3D art and design and I’ve worked on some fabulous assignments in a variety of fields. See www.isodesign.uk.com
Most recently I have begun designing and making art and architectural glass.
Maybe art and authorship are proper jobs after all.
Incidentally; I was married and divorced twice, but they really were only minor incidents. I chose not to have any children.
We are seven billion and growing . . .