My Photo

Contact

  • Location: United Kingdom

One-Line Bio

A writer of novels and short stories, a reader, sometimes even a thinker, who loves walking and listening and living lightly on the Earth

Biography

Thank you for coming to my blog.
That's the right place to start. We all skip over pages, pages, pages on the web. It's a kind of not-reading that takes up too much time.
I want this to be a place to linger. I hope these stories might take time, real time and not computer-flicking time. Print these stories out if you want - I usually do!
I am a writer. That means first of all that I'm a reader, because books are always in dialogue with other books and, unless you are going to invent your own language, all the words we use carry a history. I guess reading is my passion - novels and short stories and contemporary poetry, magazines, non-fiction... whatever comes to hand. I spend far too much money that I have not got on books.
So a writer. It is a strange and solitary but fascinating life, not great for the bank balance but I manage. Why write? That is a question I ask myself every day. There are a lot of answers but here is one that matters to me.
In the aftermath of 9-11, the New Yorker published a poem by the Polish writer Adam Zagajewski called Try To Praise The Mutilated World. Its first lines are
Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember...
Remembering. Seeing the mutilated world. Trying to praise. Those aren’t bad reasons to write.
The amazing Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector expresses the paradox of writing:
I write without hope that anything I write can change anything at all.
And then:
I write as if to save somebody’s life. Probably my own.
I write first of all out of memories of working in the prison system. That has become a kind of fundamental experience for me. I was touched by some extraordinary lives there. Some of my best friends died inside. My novel, Two Thirds Man, is their story, the first of four books I want to write because otherwise they will all be forgotten.
I also write short stories, some from planet prison and others from elsewhere. I’ve won prizes with these, which encourages me to carry on.

Interests

Fiction of all kinds, Favourite authors from Candia McWilliam and Jeanette Winterson to Roberto Bolano and Mervyn Peake with Trollope for sheer pleasure, Astronomy, Science Writing, Pretty Much Anything that Inspires