Toby Bain

Biography

Hi there. First of all thanks to everyone for your kind words about my work. I see my writing career as a work in progess and I'm trying to improve every day.

I was born in Ipswich way back in December of 1970. I never really wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be a policeman or a footballer. At school though I could always be found in the library, head buried into a Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew mystery when not playing chess.

The fact that I didn’t start writing until 2004 tells its own story. Then something happened: a friend said he’d written a book and some part of this statement resonated with me. I thought if he can do it so could I. My problem was that I hated reading – saw it as an unnecessary distraction – and thus the first few years of my foray into writing saw me religiously avoid reading so much as a blurb. During this time I wrote many a duff novel with poorly constructed plots and characterless characters.

Aside from the sheer idiocy of this (like taking a degree with the intention of not studying) a few years ago something happened. I forced myself to make a decision. Did I want to be the best writer I could be or just another writer? Film directors watch films and writers have to read. So I read. And I went to writing classes and started to do the three things that I try to live by to this day:

1 – Improve as a writer every day.
2 – Write the type of stories I would be happy to read
3 – Enjoy the process and have fun

Things fell into place slowly. The first novel I completed was called The Nightmare, which eventually became The Dream Thief (this may be coming soon, not sure yet). I recall a great sense of satisfaction at the outcome, one that I now realize was more like the relief a constipated man feels when yanking up his trousers after pulling the chain. The rejection letters I received for The Dream Thief disabused any notion I had that this writing lark was easy.

The first novel I wrote that was actually read in full by an agent was Diary of a Missing Person (this I will release in 2013). I labelled it as a thriller, which in retrospect was a little misleading and might have disappointed the agent. It is more like a drama with the odd thrill. I remember getting letters back from agents telling me they would like to see the first few chapters and feeling I’d arrived. I was a real author. Imagine how ecstatic I felt when one agent wished to see the full manuscript? Not quite better than sex, but almost as good as foreplay.

More disappointment followed when the agent wasn’t interested (not compelling enough). And just when I decided to jack this whole fantasy of becoming a writer in I saw an article about Kindle publishing. It seemed that some people do not need agents or publishers to get their manuscripts to the masses; just a keyboard and some marketing skills.

Seeing how it is indeed easier to pass a camel through the eye of a needle than get published, I decided to create a website and push my writing on it for the perusal of people like you.

Then I decided against it. This was in February of 2012 and the problem was that my writing consisted of just two rejected novels that needed extensive editing – a luxury when you’re financially challenged. So I swallowed hard and tried my hand at the shorter form – novellas, micro fiction and short stories – all for the very first time. I followed my usual mantra of reading as many short stories as I could whilst trying to produce the type of work I would be happy to read…

Nowadays I try to read one book a week, in audio or written form. In between indulging in works by Kazuo Ishiguro, Stephen King, Dennis Lehane, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jeffrey Deaver, and watching as many films as is humanely possible, I go to the gym and watch MLB (go Yankees!), NFL (JETS!), football (the one you play with your feet!) and the NBA (Knicks!).

But writing is my true love. I do most of own editing and have although I try not to be too negative about my first drafts I know there’s a way to go before I’m in the class of my favourite authors. I’m always learning, always trying to improve every aspect of my writing and I hope we can take this journey together and see where it takes us.

Where to find Toby Bain online


Books

This member has not published any books.