Date Posted: 02/03/2016 | Category:
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I remember excitedly writing about snails when I was 5 or 6 years old, and writing long-winded stories in Primary School that went on for pages and pages of my exercise book; looking back now I feel sorry for the teacher who had to mark them, and how much I may have encroached upon the amount of free time they had. When I was very young I dreamt of living in a shed in Norfolk on my own and writing novels. That was all I wanted to do. Apart from when I was dreaming of being a rock star, wrestler or footballer.
My first book, Everything Will Work Out in the Long Run was published by Spiderwize in March 2014 – it was easy to write. It didn’t take me more than a couple of months. The editing took a little while, but it wasn’t an arduous task. However, it took me over 30 years, multiple battles with addiction, broken hearts, a Caesar's Camp Endurance Run, comical injuries and brushes with the law, to name just a fraction of an incredibly long list, to get the material for it. If I could give one piece of advice, that would be it; write about what you know. If you’re writing a novel use your own life for inspiration. Not necessarily for the story itself, for if you’re lucky then your own life isn’t quite chaotic enough to make a great story, but if it is then use it to your advantage. If it isn’t then you can use it for the characters, or some of the events, or the setting. If you write about what you know then the prose will flow. Know what I mean, bro? Or sis. Apologies; if you’re a woman then you’re breaking my poetic flow right now just by being who you are.
What I didn’t mention is that this book started off way back in 2001 as a novel based loosely on my life. It was like Marcel Proust’s ‘In Search of Lost Time’ meets Irvine Welsh’s ‘Ecstasy.’ That is being kind. It was actually dreadful, with the odd flash of goodness. It wasn’t as bad as some of the future drafts though. One was about two losers who end up somehow blagging their way onto a trip to the Congolese jungle to hunt for a dinosaur like creature that is believed by some to still live there. It was even worse than it sounds. Another was the tale of a loser named Pascal Watkins who has a broken heart, no real prospects and an addiction he can’t keep under control. He plans to take his own life but meets a man named Spike who is also a loser but is better at hiding the fact, and manages to talk him out of it. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds, but it was rejected by many publishers. I’m really glad it was, because this story needed to be rewritten as totally my own, rather than quite a bit of my own, and it needed to be published by Spiderwize, for they give you the freedom to have control of where your book is sold, how it is marketed and pretty much what is in it. I’m really glad I didn’t discover them sooner though, because if I had then they probably would have been kind enough to publish one of my earlier drafts, and I’d probably now be in hiding in Azerbaijan sweeping the yard for a man named Gustav and eating plov every day (Plov is the Azerbaijani national dish.)
So, to summarise – I had a story I felt I had to tell. Although I loved life I found it a struggle from an early age because the world made little sense to me. I sought escapism. I battled addictions. I discovered running. I ran further than I ever thought it was possible for a human being to run. I used my negative experiences to help support others. I became a Christian. I’m not very good at it yet but, as with all things in my life, if I work hard enough at it and by being persistent in prayer I will one day see results. Everything Will Work Out in the Long Run.