Here’s where you can find a whole bunch of information about me. Some of it’s even true!
Of course, if you’re planning on becoming an obsessive fan/stalker, then this is just the tip of the iceberg.(1)
I was born and raised in Sheffield, England. This is the city, probably best known in the U.S. as the location for the movie “THE FULL MONTY.” When I was there, removing all your clothes for a group of baying women was not a viable career option.(2) If it had, there’s a distinct chance my working life could have gone in a totally different direction.(3)
Having graduated college I worked for a small regional newspaper as a staff writer, restaurant reviewer and weekly contest compiler(4). Following that I worked in print and advertising, writing print copy and promotional/training videos. Around this time I also found myself relocating to the States.(5) In the middle of writing a training video for lawyers, I realized that the best bits weren’t the training parts, chopped those out and was left with my first short story about Lawyers in Hell(6).
Since making the move away from writing believable and sometimes humorous lies for other people, I’ve written screenplays, a novel(12) and numerous short stories. Three shorts made it to the quarter finals of the L. Ron Hubbard “Writers of the Future Contest.”(9) I’m also sweating over my second novel; developing and scripting several comic book titles including a couple of projects with characters you’d have actually heard of.(10)
(1) If you’re giving serious thought to becoming one of those rabbit-boiling obsessives, can I suggest you reconsider? I mean, I’m really not that interesting and you will likely as not spend an awful lot of time crouched in the bushes outside my house getting cold and wet, while the squirrels in the yard try repeatedly to bury nuts in you. All you’ll have to show for your time will be a nasty head-cold, possibly some rheumatic aches and a pocketful(11) of nuts. Also, my wife is quite good at Aikido and takes a very dim view of people hiding in her shrubbery.
(2)Well you could do it, but there was no way you’d get paid as well. Trust me on this, no matter what they promise, the best you can hope for is that the women will unlock the doors again and let you go, but you won’t get paid.
(3) OK, probably not.
(4) Admittedly the contest compiler part of the job was only for two hours, but that was down to a lack of column-inch space rather than any reflection on my ability to write a cunning and well formed crossword clue.(7)
(5) It really wasn’t a very well thought out plan, but all things considered, it didn’t turn out too badly.
(6) In fairness, this was no where near as original a concept as I thought at the time. But everybody has to start somewhere, right? Don’t believe me? Check it out in the Reading Room.
(7) (5 letters) Lemuel Gulliver, “You have mail.”(8)
(8) See. Told ya!
(9) So my level of failure there is at least consistent.
(10) What? Don’t believe me? Johnny Test and Inspector Gadget…. see.
(11) And you’ll have gotten off lightly if your pockets are the only place the squirrels tried to hide their winter stash.
(12) This novel is now available to buy.(13)
(13) OK, yeah, I know. I shoulda renumbered all the footnotes here to include the additional info for the novel. Whadaya want here? I updated, didn’t I? Do I come around to where you work and tell you how to do your job?
Most of the above is true. Some of it has been admittedly tweaked a little to add spice and adventure (I mean, consistently failing at the quarter final stage of a contest is no where near as exciting as I made it seem). What you tend to find when you tell stories for a living, is that real-life sucks (at least in the narrative structure and dramatic tension parts) so I tried to make this a little interesting. However, I really was a contest compiler for two hours, and my wife probably can kick your butt. I’ll leave the rest for you to work out for yourself.