When did you first start writing?
In Primary school we had an assignment in English class for creative writing. It was a one page story that was meant to test our grasp of the written word. I barely remember what I wrote but remember thinking it was complete rubbish.
Another creative assignment in Secondary school was only a little better, but I do remember the plot quite well. It was unpolished and had no speaking parts, mainly because I hated how I wrote conversations and felt it best to avoid the issue. But I liked the idea and it always stayed with me. I eventually re-purposed it, with major revisions, and its now safely tucked inside The Elemental Progeny in a form I can be proud of.
What started me on the path to actually thinking I could write a novel was role playing games like D&D. I was constantly running the games and concocting stories, but lots of plot threads went undeveloped because of in game character death or the players choosing to turn left instead of right. I felt the unplayed plot threads deserved life, and began formulating a plot for a novel. My notes for The Elemental Progeny were far different from the result and I only planned on it being a single novel. But as the story evolved it was clear it couldn't be contained in one book.
Everything else sprung from there. I now have the outlines for three individual series based in the Void War universe I created for the Gatekeeper trilogy and I don't intend to stop there.
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What do you read for pleasure?
I generally stick with fantasy, sci fi, horror and thrillers. Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Richard Laymon moulded my love for books as I consumed everything of theirs I could get my hands on.
Between finding a new book from these authors, I jumped into the likes of Tolkien, Raymond E Feist and David Eddings.
They only heightened my love of books as I expanded my preferred author list, selecting a new author almost at random from my mail order book club (it was difficult to fulfil the 5 books per month minimum with only 6 authors). I've added Kim Harrison, Robert Jordan, Terry Brooks and HP Lovecraft to name a few.
I'm currently reading The Immortal Gene series by Jacinta Maree.