Have you always been attracted to writing?
I think so. Writing is certainly something I have always done. I think of myself as having written from an early age. I was always writing stories at school or writing out my thoughts as far back as I can remember. I’ve always seen myself as a writer.
Were you encouraged to write at school?
I didn’t do particularly well at school, in fact I would say that I pretty much struggled a lot at school, and I didn’t really achieve particularly well academically.
With regards writing, that was something I could go away and do by myself without any fear or pressure being put on me.
I think also that writing allows you to an escape from the world in which you live and you can create, you can self-generate, at some level, a better world for yourself.
Why did you feel a need to do that?
In many ways my life at school was difficult, so, if you create a better world for yourself which you can immerse yourself in, it can be a way of dealing with the difficult circumstances around you.
Were you encouraged by your family?
I couldn’t say that I was, but it became the thing that I did, either for pleasure or for profit. Eventually I became a journalist; I sort of stumbled into that. I would consider myself to a high degree self-taught.
When you were growing up were you a performer as well as a writer?
I did like the idea of performing and I was a bit of a show off. There is a part of me that liked having an audience. I wanted to be a pop star when I was younger.
I was involved for quite a while in the process of becoming an actor. I studied Performing Arts at University in England, although, sadly, I didn’t finish the degree.
Did you perform professionally?
I did perform as an actor with varying degrees of success, and while I enjoyed doing that it was the point at which I was looking at getting an agent that things started to shift; because I realised that there was another side to the industry. I was happy enough when the situation didn’t require a particular level of application; although I should add that I’m not suggesting you should just throw yourself on a stage and shout “I’m ready”, but I realised that you did have to work on the craft, that you had to commit and you had to include a certain level of preparation.
There was also the business side of the industry which I think I didn’t want to dirty my hands with, even though it is very much a big part of the job.
Why was that a problem for you?
I used to think I was just lazy but now I think it is just the way that I am built. I didn’t really have a clear direction for what I was trying to do and when I was working I really didn’t have a long term vision.
You did continue to write?
Yes and that has stayed with me throughout my life.
Part two of this interview is here