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As I have aged, I have lost none of my desire to influence opinion. My non-fiction work is centred on the vulnerable child, particularly those with social and emotional issues that have few to fight their corner. Education is the battleground and I exert what influence I can via the written word. I have a blog, use Twitter and LinkedIn. I also write occasional articles for my local newspaper. I enjoy the challenge of research and then innovating, a methodology which defines all my writing.
To be a writer you have to serve an apprenticeship and then there are no guarantees. You dream of becoming an overnight success but then reality kicks and you find it a struggle to even get read. It is like a rite of passage. I have been rejected by so many agents and publishers I have lost count, ripped off by vanity publishing and then find that self-publishing means you have to do, literally, everything yourself. Persistence pays off.
My first attempt at fiction was a quasi, autobiographical text 'Failing Teachers, Failing Children'. The book had not been proof read and so, as a gimmick, I gave away a free red pen with every purchase! When the book got wet, words started to slither down the page. The text (now edited) is having a second wind. 'La Chaire, Beyond the Garden Gate' took more than 3 years to research and write. It was successful locally. The challenge now is to market it to a wider audience. Another skill I am learning to acquire.
I do not write to a particular genre, preferring to follow my instincts, seeking out ‘alternative’ stories and new angles. Writing is my drug of choice and being creative is my cure all. I find the whole process intoxicating. Personalities fascinate me. I enjoy developing characters, especially ones that provoke emotion.
I enjoy turning an idea into something tangible. All those times of mindlessness, stuck at the airport, vegetating in front of the TV, are cauldrons within which my juices flow. I am confident in my ability to recognise a good story and to create a narrative but can I really write fiction? I will let you be the judge.