At the end of this post, you’ll find links to some blogs and writers I like. The writers have all agreed to participate in and continue this .
|me, Dude & Sheepy, April 2010. Dude's probably forgotten this...|
As the father of a young son, it’s become increasingly obvious that whilst I’m already aware even the most vivid of memories will fade over time, when you’re a kid, they can slip away altogether. Sometimes I’ll ask Dude if he remembers something and he’ll look at me blankly, even though I know we had a great time doing it and I have the photographs to prove it. In my case, my first memories go back to living in Corby in the early seventies with my folks - playing with my friends, collecting Planet Of The Apes cards, the toys of the era (especially Action Man), Saturday morning pictures, Bullet comic and Spider-Man weekly.
Bearing in mind that I write horror, this is what I recall as my first memory of being scared (always good for a laugh, eh?). When I lived there (and it's the same today), Corby had a huge contingent of Scottish folk and some of their cultural elements were brought down with them, including the Highland Gathering. One year (I reckon it was either 1974 or 1975), my parents took me and my sister to one such gathering and we sat on the grass (near to the rope ‘fence’) and I can’t remember anything we saw, except perhaps for a motorcycle display team. One act that I do clearly remember, however, was a bunch of clowns that ran into the ring to, I assume, distract the kids attentions whilst something was being set up. I remember one clown in particular, a short round bloke who seemed to be completely blue, running over towards us - in my minds eye, he’s gibbering and laughing and sticking his tongue out as he waves his arms wildly in the air, but maybe didn’t happen in real life. What did happen, though, was that I reacted - I was terrified. I remember Dad hugging me and taking me away, I remember him explaining what clowns were and - later - I remember him assuring me that no clowns could get into the house and none of them would be hiding under my bed when I went to sleep.
I’m not coulrophobic, though they’re still not my favourite thing in the world - there’s just something about their need to hide behind a mask and caper desperately to get a laugh, that jars me. Not nice.
|Me and Dude, reading on the patio, summer 2013|
I still love reading and often get through sixty or more books in a year. I used to be one of those people who, once they’d started a book, couldn’t stop it midway through but life’s too short for that - I have books on my shelves that I know I’ll probably never get to, so why waste my time reading something that clearly doesn’t sit well with me?
I try to read widely across genres and take in crime, thrillers, drama, Chick-Lit, autobiographies, behind-the-scenes stuff on films, Snoopy and Calvin & Hobbes collections, some sci-fi and - of course - horror.
|Rothwell's old library, or The Market House, designed by |
William Grumbold for Sir Thomas Tresham. Construction
began in 1577.
What’s Your Passion?
My family, especially adventures with the Dude and hopefully giving him a childhood he’ll look back on favourably (assuming he remembers our adventures...).
I quite enjoyed school and have warm memories of my junior school years (I’m a Parent Governor now and although the old building is still there, the new additions mean that it doesn’t really resemble the place I remember) and my stint at Montsaye (especially the Sixth Form, which I think was the best school year of my life). I wanted to go on to study journalism, though that never quite happened and I fell into accountancy, which led me back to night school, where I got my professional qualifications (the course was three hours a night, up to three hours a week - how on earth did I manage that?) just before Dude was born.
I’ve been writing stories for a long time, starting when I was about eight and wanted to know more about “Star Wars” so expanded the universe and put me and my friends into the various adventures. I also wrote about Steve Austin (there were always short stories in the Six Million Dollar Man annuals and I enjoyed reading them), spies (for a while, I wanted to be either James Bond or Simon Templar) and detectives. I didn’t write much about my own life until I went to Montsaye (our Comprehensive, or senior school), which coincided with the start of “Grange Hill” (“flippin’ ‘eck, Tucker!”), but apart from a few stories, I focussed on crime fiction (I homaged The Three Investigators with my own Three Intrepids series). I hope I’ve come a long way since then and I love the process (though I do prefer editing to writing - I’m one of those writers who ‘likes having written’). I don’t write as much as I would like to - there’s a lot of life going on, but I’m also still battling a couple of the demons from a serious block that struck me just after Dude was born - but I’m still there, still plugging away. After all, whatever would I do without it?
Sue's original post can be found here.
These are the links to other blogs from writers you might find interesting. Not all of them write in the same genre as I do, but they're all very good, as is Sue herself.