Rants & Reviews
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am I? |
Well, to my surprise, I am a writer, among other things. How
I am, you will have to judge for yourself. You can read some
my stories if you click on the links below or on the left. I've always
enjoyed holding forth. And now I can!
was a lightie, I escaped from the world by reading. We lived
the bush, so there was no TV, no radio. Our games
to do with imagination. A broken wheelbarrow base was the
of a balloon, or the hull of a spaceship. I made small towns
of mud and cardboard, and imagined them filled with people. I
made up languages and worlds. We had few props,
but we had
But the best was the weekly Thursday visit to the library.
days it doesn't seem like much. I've been in much more
and larger libraries. But for me it was a world of magic.
We were allowed to take out just two books, and I'd usually read both
by Saturday arvie. Then I read them again. And
I read all those books that are supposed to bad for you --
Blyton for example -- and all the Biggles books. I read
fiction, fairy tales, young adult thrillers (though
was a genre only just developing), the Hardy boys, books for boys,
books for girls, Georgette Heyer, Agatha Christie. In fact
anything I could get my hands on, even the backs of corn-flakes boxes.
I first saw TV when we went to England in 61. My dad was
year's study of languages spoken in the Federation of Rhodesia and
Nyasaland at a university in London. He seems to have
concentrated on Chinyanja, the language spoken in Nyasaland (now
Malawi) and a lingua franca through much of the region. I can
still speak a few words.
Because I was lonely, I had to entertain myself, and I never had a
problem with that. I grew fascinated with maps, with
with history, with economics and the markets. Each of these
things, in a way, is about growth and change, about how things came to
be how they are now. And naturally, as an avid reader, I was
I really started to experiment with writing in high school.
day, for the school exam, I wrote an essay in the style of J.D.
Salinger -- I had been much taken with Catcher in the Rye
-- and my English teacher humiliated me in front of the whole class
when he handed the papers back. I decided then
wouldn't do English at varsity, and that I would never write.
I didn't, for 30 years, at least not fiction. I never forgave
that teacher for what he did, and yet he also gave me a love for better
writing than Capt W E Johns, Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie.
taught me to love Shakespeare, and poetry, and Jane Austen.
know good writing when I see it. Alas, mine is far from the
sublime perfection achieved by the inimitable Jane. No
I couldn't stop writing anyway.
So how did I get back into writing? Well, one day my lady and
were sitting discussing the Harry Potter books and their author.
And how she has become the richest woman in England, richer
the Queen. That annoyed both of us (my lady is a
too, as is my son and my father-in-law), because we knew how much of
her stuff is shamelessly borrowed from Enid Blyton (what kind of a name
is that?) and Roald Dahl. But she can tell a rattling good
So both of us decided to try to write a novel, and I started
came to be ElvenSword.
She wrote a children's book and a thriller (Black & Deep Desires) set in the village in
Norfolk where we lived for a couple of years. A very good and
very thrilling thriller it is too. It amazes me that such a
satisfying book should remain unpublished.
You can read it in the novels section.
I'm married, and love my wife very deeply. She is my other
my soul mate. Before I met her, I lived with a man for a
People often ask how I can love my wife and consider
myself gay. All I can say is I do, and just as I
who grow to love guys, I know it can work the other way.
Does it mean I don't enjoy looking at a handsome bloke?
as far as it goes. My writing celebrates love between
and their men and love between men and their women.
above all, it celebrates love, expressed with the body, the heart, the
mind and the soul. Mum was right -- it really does make the
have 12 novels ranging from complete through half written to a
couple which are not much more than an initial chapter with a brief
plot outline. You can access them here.
||Short stories and novellas published in Forbidden Fruit, Wilde Oats, on my blog and here.
|Rants & Reviews
|| Book and film
reviews, rants about the strange ways of the
world, and musings on why
we are how we are.