I began my writing career quite by accident. Even while still in Grade school, I had an extraordinary knack for turning everyday events into stories, which I did. I was also obsessed with grammar, punctuation and spelling, always wanting to know more and always wanting to get it right.
I’m still working on that one.
To me, even at that young age, all of life seemed to be a series of stories; some sad, some happy, some tragic, and some . . . well, some were simply unbelievable and beyond words. It was those stories that piqued my interest and the reason why, today, much of my fiction is based around stories that either defy belief, or are so emotionally intense that they are difficult to comprehend and absorb.
Unlike most writers, I am sorry to admit that I really do not remember when my first story was published. It must have been the mid 70s and was probably in Reader’s Digest.
I do, however, remember the first award I received. I was eight years old, and was awarded a prize at school for Best Creative Writer, whatever that meant. I had written a simple, descriptive piece of prose, one page long about . . . well that story is actually published today and remains a mystery to many who read it as they try to guess what the story is about.
It is called “The Return”. If you ever come across it, see if you can determine what the story is about. To date, nobody has ever guessed correctly first time, although one man did get it on his second guess.
So, I began collecting my stories, as I used to just throw them away. Before long, I had a backlist as long as your arm and didn’t know what to do with them. I started sending them out to be published, and that’s when the bug really bit down hard and I become a ‘word junkie’.
Yes, I admit; I’m a writing addict in a big way. Still, it wasn't all bad as I now make a living through writing, which is quite possibly the best job in the world. I’m no millionaire (almost), or JK, or Stephen King, and I know what an adverb is, but I’m a damn site happier than most folks I see embroiled in the corporate world, who always seem so miserable and are always looking to ‘move on’ or ‘move up’.
I left the Joneses and the materialistic world behind years ago and have never looked back. It was a soul-cleansing experience as I now have only what I require, not what I want, because that way lies madness.
Every day I see thousands of stories, just waiting to be written and it’s true what they say; that every writer includes a bit of themselves in their stories. I do the same thing, except that I will never reveal which bits are true and which are fiction. That I leave to my readers to decide.
My stories are unusual inasmuch as I tend to make every word count, and in many of my tales, there are clues dotted around which, if missed by the reader, can result in them misunderstanding, or missing the point entirely.
Readers who skim over paragraphs will most likely miss a great deal of what I write, especially in my short stories, where the ultimate clue can be a single word.
While writing, I try to engage the reader as much as possible and then drop the bombshell at the very end; usually in the last paragraph or, sometimes, as the last line. This technique has held me in good stead over the years and I keep doing it. It seems that none of my readers ever tires of waiting to read that final line to find out what really happens.
My work may not be to everyone’s liking, buy hey, you can’t win ‘em all. I write for the sheer thrill of it, and dedicate all of my work to my six-year old daughter, who remains my finest achievement and is the inspiration for most of my work.
If you’re ever stuck for story ideas, watch a six-year old at play and open your mind. See the world through their eyes and your own world will be opened to possibilities you never imagined possible.
If you like my work, tell 40,000 of your closest friends. If you don’t, tell me, and then tell me why. We are all of us merely players in a world gone mad, each of us trying to make our way in a time when the sky is the limit and we are limited only by our imaginations.
As I completed my two degrees in medicine, I also write a lot of non-fiction; some of it medical and some of about publishing and the English language. The way I take a break from writing fiction, is to write some non-fiction.
Weird, I know, but it works for me. Happy reading . . .