My first attempt at writing was a story for the school newspaper, based very heavily on Casper the ghost (I had no idea back then of copyright). It was well received but let down by the fact that I got my hero into such a difficult situation that I couldn’t get him out. I guess there are many with that problem, as is born out by much of the television we see nowadays. The usual solution is to invoke a miracle. Personally I have a problem with that and consequently there was no second episode; even so it was well received by my peers.
I toyed around a few times more after that but girls, marriage and life in general got in the way until I was in my mid twenties. In 1970 my wife and I set off on an adventure by driving from England to India. I often think back at what my life would have been if we had not decided on that trip, as it is I think of it as my renaissance. I literally was reborn on that trip, and in the end India wasn’t the end, we went onto Australia and then New Zealand. Yet again I found an excuse not to get into writing: a growing family, but all that changed in the nineties when two things happened. Firstly I found myself divorced and with plenty of time alone. Secondly it was the dawn of the PC age.
Computers to me are wonderful machines, not least because I spent most of the time I was at school chasing girls, rather than learning English, as a result I left school an English dunce, and still am. But with their spell checks and ability to cut and paste I had no excuse anymore.
My first machine was an Amiga, for those of you who don’t remember, or weren’t around, its memory was based on floppy discs (remember them?) So the stories were small and disjointed. But I stayed with it this time, writing, reading aloud and rewriting countless times. I also got a new incentive, grandchildren; and because of them I won’t find excuses again. My stories are my posterity, and hopefully they will encourage my grandchildren to observe the world: to empathise with people they meet, and have the pure thrill of creating their own fantasy words. And through my stories I hope they realize; when they look at the grainy photos, that I wasn’t just someone who lived a long time ago, but that I was someone who had that most wonderful of things, an imagination.
Its been a long journey full of pleasure, excitement, wonder, and just a touch of pain, but through it all I have learned enough to keep me in stories for the rest of my life