I’m the son of a preacher man. My dad was trained as a lawyer but had a “road to Damascus” religious experience as a young man and instead became a priest at a young age.
As a result of which he and my mother set out to Uganda as missionaries, with me in my carrycot! I was one year old at the time. I spent the first 12 years of my life running around in Uganda, often with no shoes on.
I was slow to read and write. But when I started to read, I read voraciously. Aged 8 or 9, I would read a book a day during the holidays. I read everything in my parents bookcase including all the “naughty” books that my parents didn’t want me to see. Like the racy Ian Fleming’s “Live and Let Die.” It was confiscated from my suitcase when I tried to take it back to school in Kenya (that’s a whole other story).
When I was 13, I went to see Space Odyssey 2001 and it changed my life. I wanted to be an astronaut. I thought I would be perfect for the 1986 manned mission to Mars that NASA was planning in those days. Alas, it never happened. But I am still fascinated by space and space exploration and wish Elon Musk every success with his vision for a huge Mars colony.
I am a geek who can speak. I was always good at maths and physics, but equally I have always been a writer. I used to write terrible adventure stories and make my parents listen to them.
My little sister Charity Norman has published 5 books, including After the Fall and See You in September. So I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.
I was in 220 Broadway on 11th September, 2001, 200 metres from the WTC North Tower. I walked through the World Trade subway station at about 8.15am that morning. I did not feel traumatised by my experiences that day and yet references to it creep into my writing despite myself, as you will see from the closing chapter of Trading Down.
I have four children: three boys and my ‘favourite daughter’ Florence. I took Florence to Sana’a in Yemen because there is an Arabic language school there which teaches classical Arabic. That’s where the inspiration for the Yemen scenes in Trading Down came from. Sana’a is an amazing city with extraordinary buildings that look like skyscrapers made of mud. It is now being destroyed by the forces which are emerging at the beginning of Trading Down.
I love cycling. Next year I plan to visit Columbia and see the Vuelta a Colombia, the Colombian Tour de France. It’s all research for my 3rd book (the second one will be a sequel to Trading Down).
Most days, I’m an optimist! I think the human race will lurch along the ledge of self destruction without falling off. I believe that before long, all kids everywhere in the world will have a fantastic education, taught by humans and AI teachers. It will be cheap and available everywhere.
Stephen Norman’s cybercrime novel, Trading Down, is published by Endeavour Press and available on Amazon.