I have always loved writing, even before I could properly talk, I was creating. Except, being however many months old, I didn’t know these things called ‘words’ were.
I didn’t even know that they were called words until I went to something called school, where I learned what words where.
I also learned about something called something the alphabet – twenty six letters formed together to make words – and how it was used.
As years passed and I got older (even if I was only the grand old age of eleven!!) I read a book that I hadn’t read for Year Seven in school!
An actual something that had two covers and pages and about a million words inside. But there was one problem – by somebody called Martina Cole and when I put it down I was terrified by what was in it!
But… I became enthralled with the genre, and that lead me to watch things on the television that I wasn’t normally allowed to (my first experience of this was in March 2006 when I was nine – a programme called Life on Mars) and I remembered squealing and covering the screen as someone’s arm was hurt.
It was as I became a teenager, I learned not to squeal but to watch properly – why the characters did what they did and most importantly, the credits where the written by would come up on the screen.
I wrote my first short story at age twelve in 2008, which was abysmal, but I was not yet writing crime stories. I was writing a short story about something or other, I can’t remember exactly what, when I watched two abduction cases on the news for the first time. These two stories together made the lightbulb moment go in my head. If I need to be a better writer, I need to go and study how to be. I also then realised that I wanted to study crime but had no idea how to go about it.
Secondary school passed in a blur, with the focus on my creative writing in English lessons known for being that lot darker than everyone else’s. As I got older, I drew more towards why people do what they do? From all the police shows I’d watched growing up, it was always something in the persons environment (around them) and their upbringing (how they were brought up and educated).
This led me to study Psychology at college when I left school, which I did alongside English Literature and Language. I also studied Biology, wrongly assuming I would learn about forensics like I had on the telly.
As a consequence, I didn’t do very well, failing that subject miserably, and then crying at home when I couldn’t progress onto ALevels because I only had three GCSEs.
I spent the following two years studying creative media production, learning how to write scripts for digital media, but when I realised that there was an art unit on the course, my enthusiasm evaporated completely. Having cerebral palsy and being visually impaired, I’d always hated art in school (as I had little dexterity in my right hand). Mine was always questionable compared to my friends work!
Despite several knockbacks, I do still have two major loves in my life (aside from the usual family and black cat called Millie), my writing and fascination for all things crime.
Alongside the course I passed through the skin of my teeth, I began work as an office clerk for a solicitors practice. Then, a year away from education was spent recovering from a two stage spinal surgical procedure.
After recovering, I began gathering research for my novel, Night Call.
Back on my feet (well trying to with one that doesn’t do as it’s told) I then went onto complete an Access Course in Humanities which I passed (I have no memory of how that happened!!)
Unfortunately, it only broadened my horizons regarding criminal law and criminal justice and contributed to my research.
Now at university in my second year, Night Call is back at the drawing board (keyboard on a Scrivener document) so I can nail down my all important second draft.
It’s been brilliantly fascinating to interview some fantastically creative fabulous people from the publishing industry – if you fancy a look through my blog, you’ll find interviews with crime writers on either their journeys to publication or their specific writing processes.
You’ll also find a lot of interviews with literary agents, as I chat to them on what they look for in submissions and how writers can submit to them for representation.