Writer’s Exercise: 7 Things About Me

7 Things About Me

Thanks to the members of The Dragon’s Rocketship for the generic invite to this.

Here’s seven things you don’t know about me. I didn’t plan them out, they’re what came to me first. That fact probably says more about me than anything else.


I tried to write throughout my teens, but couldn’t get past a few thousand words at a time. Then about four years ago I just sat down and started writing for real. I haven’t stopped since, and earnings from self-publishing are now my primary source of income (the day job takes second place).


I was born 1985, left high school in 2001, went to college where I studied English and Photography, before starting full-time work in retail in 2005. This year marks my tenth year in food retail – and all going well, I hope to make it my last. But you know what? The reality is I’ll probably be saying that next year!


I met my lovely wife in 2007, we were married and had our first daughter, Leah, in 2008. Freya followed in 2010, and Olivia in 2012. As of this writing (4th March, 2015) we are expecting our fourth child in July.


I am the oldest of eight children – three boys, five girls. My brother Danny, the second-oldest, died when he was less than a year old and spent his short life entirely in the hospital. Of course, I was the only one of my siblings to meet him and spend some time with him – these are hazy memories I cherish above all else. There’s not a single day I don’t think about Danny.


My favourite scifi writer is Arthur C. Clarke. He gets flack for having workmanlike prose, but I find so many beautiful flourishes in his work. For an example of this, see his prologue to 3001: The Final Odyssey. For Fantasy it has to be Joe Abercrombie, for the humour in his work and the way he can tell epic fantasy in an edgy, modern way. The best horror writer? It’s got to be King Prime. By that I mean anything he wrote up to Misery. I just don’t think the rest of his work has the same tightness to it, though I do hold some regard for Bag of Bones, and I think his Dark Tower series has to be taken as a separate work altogether. All of this being said about genre writers, the most powerful book I’ve ever read has to be Wild Seed by Octavia Butler. The most moving, The Time Travellers Wife. A work of pure brilliance is The Cider House Rules by John Irving. That said, A Prayer for Owen Meany is also very, very good . . .


My movie tastes are so wide I’d be here all day listing titles. I like the classics, I like big movies with grand sweeps, I like small indies. Gross-out comedies, rom-coms. Whatever. I do not like Colin Farrell, though. And I can’t watch Jason Statham. In anything. Probably why I haven’t watched The Expendables yet. The Deer Hunter reduces me to a bawling wreck every single time I watch it. It’s the sort of film I think would make a great novel. I actually sought out the adaptation of it some years ago, hoping it would be brilliant. You won’t be surprised to hear that it was fucking awful.


When I’m writing an action scene, I listen to something fast and racy. Loud. When I’m picking my way through a chapter, finding the rhythm, my weapon of choice is Springsteen. No matter what I listen to, I always come back to the Boss. If you’re not appreciating the music, you’re appreciating the lyrics and the story he’s telling. I rarely listen to soundtracks when writing. Or classical, though I really like classical music. There’s nothing better than starting a new book and hearing Bruce relate the tale of Thunder Road to you for the hundredth time . . .

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