If you’re reading this page then you must be either my mother or someone who has too much time on their hands. Or both, seeing as my mum’s retired. Anyway, I’ve always been obsessed with books – I even ran away from home when I was ten because my dad ordered me to stop spending so much time at the library. He must have had a premonition because aged twelve I was hit by a car outside that same library while simultaneously crossing the road and reading a Judy Bloom book, no doubt hunting for pointers on my other obsession at that time: girls. I was flung into the air, but fortunately cushioned the fall with my face, breaking my nose on the corner of the curb.
I remember the first story I wrote, maybe when I was four or five. It was an exact transcription of The Poseidon Adventure, which I scribbled down after watching the film and handed to my confused mother, who smiled and nodded while pretending to read it. From there, my literary career took to the air like a chicken with a lead stomach. Through my teens I forged gloomy poems so bad that even the most melancholic emo would have been ashamed to call them his own. I also edited – for want of a better word – a photocopied humour rag called Fluffy Dice, which was enjoyed by just about nobody. After that the real world of women, drugs, university, and many years of vagrant backpacking came and went and I realised that if this was life then my miserable teen self could have been onto something about the meaningless of it all.
So, I started writing. That was (cough, cough) years ago now and since then I’ve had something like a hundred stories published some of which can be read here or in my ebook Smiling Exercises, and Other Stories. I’ve also placed or been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, the Manchester literary prize, the Aeon Award, and many other competitions. In the summer of 2013, I completed an MA in Creative Writing at Brunel, after which I began working on my first novel*, called The Vaccine Slaves, which should be available by summer 2016. More details can be found here.
* Actually my fourth novel, but the other three are locked deep in the oubliette of lost stories, covered in cobwebs and tears, and never to be read by human eyes.