I passed my motorbike test in 1989, and was one of the founder members of a Plymouth motorcycle club. We’d spend weekends camping in the rain and playing silly games, like welly-wanging and tug-o-war, with other bike clubs. Pubs were invariably involved.
In 1987, I did a sky dive for charity. It wasn’t a tandem jump; I wasn’t strapped to some burly professional… which might have taken the edge off a bit! I had to climb out onto the wing alone, and launch myself (backwards) off the wing strut!
I haven’t always written sagas; I also write Mythic Fantasy; contemporary settings and characters, entangled and meshed with Cornish folklore. My first publications were in horror anthologies, and I still enjoy crafting a good blood-curdler now.
On that subject, I have it in writing that the one genre I’d never attempt is Historical. Never. Never ever ever.
When I was about fifteen I lost both halves of my bikini in the sea, in front of my entire youth club. Including, of course, the Boy I Fancied Like Mad.
I grew up in North Hill, which is the little village on the edge of Bodmin Moor featured in Daphne Du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn. Another brilliant writer of Cornish fiction, E.V. Thompson, also lived there. I’d love to think I might be channelling some small part of their combined genius!
My mum is a wildly talented needleworker, cook, and crafter; I have inherited precisely none of those skills. I can, however, balance a spoon on the end of my nose. So hooray for that.
As a child I spent ten years or so in the church choir, annoying our vicar by first learning, and then teaching my friends, the manual alphabet. I don’t think he’d have minded if it hadn’t been for the sole purpose of ‘talking’ about last night’s Dallas during the sermon.
When I’m struggling with a plot point, or a character niggle, or just need to relax my mind so I can begin writing, I play Bejeweled Blitz with the sounds off. I’ve lost count of the number of lightbulb moments I’ve had doing that, and the bonus is that your score goes through the roof!
I once had a personal, handwritten letter from Dean Koontz, with the best piece of writing advice I’ve ever received: “Do it always for the love of doing it, and in my experience, the success will follow. Although, also in my experience, perhaps slowly!” That man knows his onions!