Before going to school, I remember writing naive poetry for the spontaneous pleasure of forming words. Unfortunately for me, this instinctive need to write was crushed by my teachers’ seemingly obsessive need to humiliate children who struggled with “correctly” written words.
At my tiny 1960’s English village school we adhered rigidly to a curriculum based on the three “Rs”, and my inability to distinguish characters required for “reading”, “writing” and “arithmetic” (a play on words that went completely over my head for most of my life) made my teachers very angry.
Being a sensitive child, I deflected their years of calling me “lazy” and “stupid” by creating a protective alter-ego who played me like a character on a stage until leaving my secondary school, with no qualifications, at the age of fifteen.
After working as a chef, airport loader, builders labourer, and any other job that allowed me to hide my “shameful weakness”, I decided to harness my alter ego's deflecting humour and verbal skills to become a salesman.
Many unfulfilled years spent selling for companies like Xerox brought me to a financially successful career within the computer communications industry. But the constant stress of pretending to be someone I was not, both professionally and socially, led to serious depression and my inevitable mental breakdown.
During years of recovery, the origins of my alter ego had to be faced, fully explored and truly understood. This confronting healing process, coupled with a lifetime of tumultuous relationships and calamitous conflicts with extraordinary characters, is what I now call upon when writing my stories.
From the age of five until my recovery I made it my mission to seek out artful ways of avoiding the written word, too afraid even to write a love or business letter. But after being diagnosed with dyslexia, I learned to use something as mundane as “spell check” to win a scholarship to The Film School in Seattle and a writing course at AFTRS Sydney.
Now unable to contain the urge to write, I have written four books, fifteen screenplays and, just as I could before attending school, I sense that there are many, many more characters and stories to come.