Unusually for an author, I didn’t start writing until I was 32. I had never written a story at school, and frankly never had the desire to. In my day, English lessons were all about learning grammar and getting your knuckles rapped if you couldn’t conjugate verbs. I did dabble with poetry in my youth, but with little success or enthusiasm. I was creative though. From the age of 17, when I bought my first guitar, I always wanted to be in a band. I knew from the outset I would never be much of a musician or a singer, so I did the next best thing and wrote songs. Lots of them. I still write and record songs now. In fact, I genuinely believe I’m a better songwriter than a novelist, though the music has always been an engaging pastime and the songs not generally available for public consumption. That may yet change. My blog will be the place to go to for news about the songs.
In my thirties, I stepped sideways from songwriting to have a go at writing stories. Anyone who’s ever heard me speak will know that I started my career by trying to write a story for my wife, Jay, about a polar bear I’d bought for her one Christmas (a toy one, obviously). Once the seed was planted, the desire to write really took hold of me. I did some research on polar bears and became totally engrossed with them. Over the next two years my ‘little’ polar bear story grew into a 250,000 word Arctic saga. Since then I’ve never looked back.
Eventually, I got a publishing deal, and I’ve now seen 35 of my children’s stories on the bookshelves. Many have been widely translated. One, Fly, Cherokee, Fly, nearly won the Carnegie Medal. (I have a scroll from Jeremy Paxman to prove it.) Most of the early books are out of print now, but at the time of writing my four major dragon series are all still available. You can read about them in the books section of the site.
Finally, for those of you who like this kind of thing, here’s some general stuff. I live in Devon, England. I don’t have any children or pets (maybe a cat will appear on the horizon one day), but I’ve got LOTS of teddy bears. My favourite TV programme is Doctor Who. My favourite food is liquorice (I’m eating some now). My favourite band is The Beatles (still). And I play a ukulele – endlessly, it seems. Well, a man’s gotta have a hobby, right?