I've been writing fiction since I was a teenager when I discovered Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, The Hobbit and Terry Pratchett .
I commandeered my mum's typewriter (yes, typewriter!) and hammered out several chapters of a James Bond novel (named Afterblade) on the kitchen table. Surprisingly this wasn't published but it did lead to my first attempt of writing a full novel. Inspired by Terry Prachett (and my English tutor Shelia Gold-Smith), I hand-wrote (yes, hand-wrote!) 30,000 words of a children's fantasy novel called Gracious Loquacious. Having run out of plot I abandoned the novel thinking it too short, only to realise years later, 30,000 was the going length for a children's novel. Then Harry Potter was published!
My first published success was in 1999 when my mini-saga Sunlight was published as part of a local competition run by Books At Hoddesdon book shop. From there I continued to write. I joined a local writers' group - The Hertford Writers' Circle - and my confidence grew. Over the years we have published several collections of our works and I've had several short stories published with them.
In 2002 I was asked by the Courtyard Arts to write a community play celebrating and exploring the local community. This was partly out door and partly indoor with over 100 people from the local community involved.
Sarah and Steve Anderson, of the Starlight Theatre School, approached me in the same year to writer their end of year play for their pupils. I gladly accepted and wrote the first of four plays for them, Shambala, The Elements, Evelyn and the Hall of Decades, The Sisters of Berkeley Square. Thanks you guys!
After years of reading fantasy and sci-fi novels, and playing fantasy board and video games such as Talisman, A Game of Thrones, The Pillars of the Earth, Oblivion and Skyrim, I felt a burning desire to write my own fantasy novel. I wanted to write a story with characters I felt passionately about in a setting that I love - fantasy medieval.
So I set about creating my own fantasy world and The Legends of Grimous Ironblood was born. It is an epic illustrated children’s medieval steampunk fantasy verse storybook recounting the legendary myths, tales and stories of healer and Arch-Mage Grimous Ironblood.
Grimous is a kind and wise, if a little grumpy, Arch-Mage who has found the cure to all ills. He travels the world of Edra bestowing his healing potions and magical amulets on people and races alike. He created flying iron-monkeys and huge fierce iron fire-beasts to aid him in his quest of healing.
Along his journeys his secret is stolen. He has a curious bottle that seems to contain a curious liquid that has the power to heal. A cut-purse and general all round low-life, Bracus McGint, seizes the bottle through magic of his own, unbeknown what deadly consequences he has unleashed…
I was lucky enough to work as an extra on the Martin Scorases film Hugo in 2010 and struck up a friendship with
Richard Nairn, otherwise known as The Artful Doodler and all round nice guy. His illustrations are amazing and I knew instantly I wanted to work with him (as well as beating him at Catan!). I pitched the concept of Grimous Ironblood and he was on board. I couldn't be happier!
I was lucky enough to work on Julian Newman Turner's short film Bookshop, and dressed as a zombie, got chatting to a fellow zombie, Arkwright, who happened to be a publisher of steampunk and fantasy. He had set up The Last Line to publish new writers. We arranged a meeting (I was straight from the set of Holby City and therefore in my pajama top with hospital wrist band!) and he agreed to publish the novel!
We are aiming for a 2015 publication date and I will be creating a Grimous Ironblood website but for now keep checking the Grimous Ironblood page for news and updates.