My imaginary friend Bert told me to do it. Bert was my best friend as a young child and my first really imaginative creation. Or maybe he actually existed… Bert was an exciting friend to have; he flew helicopters, drove sports cars, and, more randomly, was a builder.
Sadly, Bert came to a sticky end while driving his sports car along a mountain road. I still have a clear vision of that day. A dramatic exit for my best buddy! I suspect I created him out of loneliness, as I had much older siblings and mostly played alone.
I was lucky enough to have the kind of mother who happily encouraged my imagination. (Sadly, I’ve come across a few who actively discourage their children from exploring their imaginations.) My mum also encouraged me to write. We’d make up funny stories and poems together.
At school, English and art kept me sane. Inspired by an English teacher who was captivated by mythology, I lived in Greece for a year when I left school. Then back home for two years at college, studying English literature and sociology.
My first job after college was, tellingly, at Heffers Bookshop in Cambridge. I truly loved it there. With ambitions to work for a publisher, I made the bizarre mistake of heading to work at Cambridge University Press. It sounded grand, but academic journals were not as much fun as the books at Heffers, so I didn’t stay long.
Then, as they say, life happened. I moved to Norfolk, got married, divorced, moved to London, moved back to Norfolk, became a market trader, and then another influence from my mother, photography, took hold. I am still a photographer—a photographer who writes short stories.
These days, I live by the River Wensum, the lifeblood of the city of stories that is Norwich. What better place to live for a writer?
I hope you will enjoy browsing my website and my short story books.
More stories are on the way…
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