I’ve always loved books, for as long as I can remember. My mum was a teacher so I suppose she felt obliged to make sure I could read well so she’d take me to get books from the library all the time. I have vivid memories of borrowing one with a little clock that you could move the hands on. I must have been about three or four-years-old but it’s still in my mind and must have helped spark my love of books.
When I was old enough I would go along to the library myself and get out things like the Hardy Boys, Asterix and anything I could find about ghosts or the supernatural.
I enjoyed writing little things myself eventually – silly short stories that made no sense and infuriated my English teacher who clearly recognised I had some skill but only wanted to waste it by writing nonsense to entertain my adolescent friends.
Sadly, adolescence passed and I grew up into a sensible man who wanted to write things a little more serious and my grandma would always say to me, “Hurry up and write a book. I want to see your book in the library.” She didn’t live to see it but it was a very proud day for me when my debut novel, Wolf’s Head appeared on the shelves of Clydebank library. My daughter was as pleased as punch and even drew a picture of the cover art which she asked the lady to pin on the wall. A lovely moment all round.
Since then I’ve written three more full-length novels, two novellas (finishing another off right now) and yesterday, December 21st, Amazon published my novelette, “The Prisoner” as part of their exclusive Kindle Singles Program. An interest sparked in childhood has led me to a wonderful new career where I get to exercise my imagination and, amazingly, bring some happiness to people. It’s so nice to read a review or an email from someone saying they loved your book and an award like Indie BRAG’s medallion is really the icing on a sweet, satisfying cake!
I take my daughter to the library now, like my mum did with me, and I read bedtime stories to my little son as well, continuing the cycle of readers in my family. My grandma didn’t get to see my books in the library but I know she’d be very proud and that knowledge is like the nicest review an author could get.
I don’t read the Hardy Boys any more but I still love exploring the paranormal through a subscription to Fortean Times magazine (which my mum gets me for Christmas every year, still feeding my love of reading and learning). I also don’t get any time to read physical fiction books now since I’m so busy writing my own, but modern technology is incredible for readers, and I make the most of an Audible membership with recent “reads” like Dune, HP Lovecraft collections and the new Bernard Cornwell tales. My own books are available in that format too which is really exciting.
I hope all you readers and writers out there have a very merry Christmas and enjoy some fantastic books with your children in 2017 – the Indie BRAG Medallion winners are a great place to start off the year!