Maybe it’s because I misunderstood the meaning of my surname (page: a servant or attendant) or maybe it’s because my mother read poetry and stories to me from birth, but I’ve always written stuff.
I still have a copy of my first poem (somewhere), composed aged five at the kitchen table. It rhymed and scanned and most importantly, earned me a huge parental hug. I’ve always been a sucker for praise so I quickly wrote some more poems until I had a short anthology, illustrated in crayon. My first attempt at self-publishing, I guess.
At primary school, I was that irritating kid that cheered when told homework was a piece of creative writing. I spent all weekend scribbling away until I had used up a whole exercise book. No doubt Mr Barker, a Dylan Thomas fan, regretted suggesting that we write our own version of Under Milk Wood. I based my lyrical account of village life on a hamlet called Little Petherick, and so began my love of writing about Cornwall – Juggling Lessons and Selina Penaluna.
Apart from a brief period when I wanted to be a professional ballerina, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Knowing what you want to be when you grow up gives you a big head start. For the last twenty-odd years I’ve been extremely lucky to be able to earn a living from writing. Not only that, it’s been a great career to combine with bringing up a family.
So what kind of writing do I do? All sorts. Stories, novels, television scripts, plays… For pre-schoolers, kids, Teens, Young Adults, and not-so-young Adults. I’m a bit of a butterfly, flitting from one genre to another and I expect my agent Christine Glover at Blake Friedmann would prefer me to settle down and stick to one thing. I’ve also produced many hours of children’s television, and with co-creator and writer, Mellie Buse, am responsible for the BBC CBeebies comedy drama Grandpa in my Pocket. My current fascination is with the Mystery Thriller genre, or maybe it’s the Psychological Thriller, or Crime Mystery or even Domestic Noir. I’ve been reading manically and have just completed the first draft of a new novel that lies somewhere in this murky territory. See what I mean? Butterfly.
And now there’s a new kind of writing for me to try my hand at: Blogging. So here I am. Ahem. Over the coming months, I’m going to blog about books and TV dramas and what I think we writers can learn from them. I’m going to blog about the writing process and attempt to give some writing tips to people just setting out. And I’m also going to blog about an experiment I’m attempting in indie-publishing.
So please dip in now and again and let’s have a conversation.