I’ve been a hobby writer for years, moving through poetry, novels and screenplays to arrive now at playwriting, which is where I think I’ve found my calling.
I was inspired to start writing in 1991 (wow, that makes it 27 years!) when a friend of mine showed me some of his nonsense poetry. Without any research, training, or past literary leanings (like many writers I expect), I accumulated a collection of what can best be described as nonsense. Shortly after, a kernel of an idea (probably seeded deep in my brain’s store of book reading and endless movies) grew over a year or so into a short US-based detective novel.
This was fun, and a great escape from my initial years of the real world of work, so I didn’t hold back the time-travel sci-fi adventure book that was inside me. Thinking back, the genesis of this was probably in watching Star Trek IV too much.
A sequel then followed. At no point did I seriously consider actually trying to get anything published.
To The Movies
From memory, about this time (1998) I started dabbling in screenplays. Again, no training other than a love of film. Genres were mixed, but predominantly rom-com, the first of these being the screenplay-ification (!) of a book I had just written. This screenplay was entered into the Orange Prize, and failed disastrously. Obviously I hadn’t a clue.
So I finally got a bit of knowledge under my belt, started really enjoying screenplays and the book writing took a back seat.
It was only a random evening chat with my Best Man (and bookshop owner) that sowed the seed of my most recent novel “Sacred Ground“, a space opera inspired by the amazing writing of Iain M Banks.
That was strictly speaking the last completed novel, as my collection of offbeat essays and odd vignettes, inspired by the writing of Woody Allen, and entitled “The Real Jamie Oliver and other Stories” is hard to categorise!
To The Theatre
In the early 2000s I met a lady called Lizzie who was looking to put on a play for a charity night. I don’t remember how, but I ended up writing the adult panto “Dick” based on Dick Whittington. It went down a storm. A few years later the script was updated and reprised for another show.
My filming work for Lizzie’s amateur theatre group led to me writing “Cinders” for an upcoming performance. Around that time I met Nick from Guildford Fringe, who coincidentally was looking for an adult panto script to perform. He liked what I had written, and with a few revisions we were quickly at December 2013. Time to pinch myself – I had my first professional production on stage.
Three further scripts have been performed since then, with both professional and amateur casts, and total audience to date is around 5000.