Autobiography: from Conception to Writer
When as a child I first learnt that as many as 500 million sperm race to fertilise the one egg, my immediate reaction was, “Wow! How lucky am I?” A day or so either side I might have been someone completely different. If my sperm had been an also ran or as Woody Allen put it, ‘slammed its head against a wall of hard rubber,’ I would never have been born at all.
I was lucky then and I believe I have been lucky ever since.
I had a fantastic childhood playing football and cricket in the street, bird nesting and hunting reptiles and amphibians in the countryside. At the end of the long hot summer days, I’d come home to devour adventures and crime novels introduced by my father – how else is a lad to discover Long John Silver, Tarzan, Sherlock, Don Camillo or Father Brown? This swiftly led on to writing my own stories with my father as collaborator, editor and proof-reader. I’ve been writing ever since.
School and later university, took my willing hand to show me the wonders of the classics, Shakespeare of course and amongst others, Dickens, Hardy, Lawrence, Greene, Swift, Maugham, Melville and Faulkner and then the poetry, Blake, Coleridge, Elliot, Frost and so many more. Such a brilliant foundation, such an awakening.
Crime fiction began to dominate my choice of reading outside of study, starting with Christie and Edgar Wallace through the likes of Rhea, Hill and Rankin to the Scandinavian invasion via the great Americans. I’d found my genre and that’s what I write today, but not exclusively, there’s still room for the odd piece of category defying inspiration which comes out of nowhere.
I’ve been fortunate to travel quite widely but more importantly live in different countries amongst the natives and as one teacher always implored me to do, I listened, learned and inwardly digested
I’ve enjoyed every mile travelled, sentence read, ball bowled and shot taken. Such a wealth of material to infuse my writing. Hopefully, all that will come out here and you’ll enjoy it as much as I have, through my writing on this blog and elsewhere.
I hope this blog reflects my take on life and all the myriad influences I have been fortunate to enjoy to so far. Some of the books are illustrated throughout this piece.
I believe there’s beauty or humour or both in everything, and hopefully my posts will reflect that.