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 28 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 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 treatment 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. I managed about 8 screenplays and even had one of them rejected by Working Title.
To The Stars
It was a random evening chat with a good friend that sowed the seed of the plot for what became novel “Sacred Ground“. It’s a space opera inspired by the amazing writing of Iain M Banks that I completed around 2005.
Next came a collection of offbeat essays and odd vignettes, inspired by the writing of Woody Allen, and entitled “The Real Jamie Oliver and other Stories” – a sample is here.
An old idea and a few chapters I’d penned in the last millennium were resurrected in 2017 and “Imperfect Isolation” has turned out really well. I love the real-world grounding of the story and my heroine is a joy to write.
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.
Four further scripts have been performed since then, with both professional and amateur casts, and total audience to date is around 5000.
I now license out versions of these scripts.