I grew up in Luton, an industrial town famous for making hats. Dad was an engineer, Mum was Mum, and my little brother, Steve, was a big pest – and my best friend. Life was fairly ordinary. Until, one day, adventure called. We packed up our belongings in a crate and sailed on an ocean liner to Canada.
The crossing took a whole week, an epic voyage for a five-year-old. That amount of rolling sea is not easily forgotten! Nor the seagulls. Nor the slot machine that unexpectedly unloaded such a heap of coins I mistakenly thought I was rich. No surprise that years later the ship (or a fictional version of her) sailed right into one of my stories: The Mirror of Pharos.
As an eight-year old returning to primary school in Luton I was the odd one out. When my funny accent caused some teasing I felt sad and missed my old home in Toronto. But some great new friends soon came to the rescue. And by then I was a bookworm so half my buddies were characters in stories anyway!
After school I studied literature at university and edited a magazine called Magus (look out for that word in the story). Later I became a journalist, a farmer and eventually a publishing editor. But all the while another adventure was beckoning. Someone had whispered a secret to me on a school field trip when I was just seven. Looking back it shaped my destiny. It’s the reason I became a storyteller. Read more…