After teaching English language and literature for thirty years both here in England and for nearly twenty years in Singapore, I am now trying to write novels. (See details below).
I have acted, directed and written for stage and television (again, both here and in Singapore) for many years, and have written about forty-five schoolbooks, some of which I have just re-issued on Lulu as they are long out of print.
I was also a freelance journalist and editor and wrote for many newspapers and magazines, and also published about 700 short stories and a ridiculous strip cartoon called 'Scouse Trek', a parody of 'Star Trek' about Scousers in space. I also invented Superscouse -- like Superman, only a Scouser -- and wrote a dozen or som stories about him.
I'm now writing novels (or re-writing history). I like to look at historical events and try to fill in the gaps and cracks or look for the unspoken motivation behind events. 'Saul', for example, takes the line that history is written by the winners, and so explores the possibility that Israel's first king was not as black and evil as the bible paints him, and so presents the same events as the Book of Samuel, but with differing interpretations. It was a lot of fun to write, and I'm now working on a sequel.
'A Matter of Perspective', my novel which purports to be the memoirs of Hans Memling, a Flemish painter who lived in Bruges from 1466 to 1494, came from a trip to that beautiful city. I was thinking about all the people who had passed through or lived in Bruges during Memling's lifetime, and I realised that they all could easily have known each other. Then it was just a matter of sitting down and working out how, and what happened next, and how I could fit the whole lot into a story. The result was again a great deal of fun to write, and taught me a lot about Memling's work. It also meant I had to make frequent trips to Bruges for research purposes....no hardship there...and study the paintings to see how I could incorporate Memling's work into my plot. It was also necessary to consume lots of Belgian beer...you get the picture.
Love to hear from any historical novelists out there, or indeed anyone who just fancies a chat and an exchange of ideas. More anon.