I’m a writer. I say that with a little battered pride. Perhaps my experience will help you.

One way or another, I have always written. I had my first short story rejected when I was around 14. Subsequently, like every adolescent, I wrote adolescent poetry. However, I didn’t become a professional author. I pursued a varied career in biological research, followed by journalism (the last profession of the gentleman), publishing, and then international aid. Since then, I have published six non-fiction books about aid. At the back of my mind was the idea that I would one day devote myself to writing fiction, full time. I’ve been moving towards that goal for the last five years.

Like all apprenticeships, it’s been a bruising and beautiful experience. My third novel, and the first I believe to be commercial for an unknown author, is A Prize of Sovereigns, was serialised by an online publisher. It’s a “historical mashup” dealing with love, war, revolt, intrigue and betrayal in Medieval Europe. My fifth novel, The Tears of Boabdil, won the Beemgee prize for its outline and a year’s mentoring from Cinnamon Press. I have also had short stories published in Gold Dust, Structo and other magazines.

There’s nothing in the accounts of authors who’ve made it, that tell you how to do this. Why did they make it, when I haven’t? Is it just that they’re better than me? Or more persistent? Or just luckier? By writing this blog as I try to follow in their footsteps, my hope is that it may offer some comfort and some insight to others on the same journey.

You can accompany me, watch me trip, develop and reject strategies, and perhaps watch me succeed.


14 thoughts on “About

  1. Dear Neil,

    I certainly don’t presume to know the answer to any of your questions. I do know it’s not the easiest road. I find marketing the most daunting in the process. Best wishes to you in your journey. At any rate I’m pleased that you joined the ranks of Friday Fictioneers.



    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Neil – I wanted to drop by and let you know that earlier this month I had the chance to peek around your blog and your writing tips are brilliant.
    The best takeaway for me last week was the one about writing flash fiction and not worrying about word count right away. Trim later….
    thanks for that.

    I have peeked at your flash fiction on and off for a while now – and I am so glad that I finally came to look around at the mass treasure of wisdom and insight you have provided for writers – and for now cost. I sense a teacher’s heart and a very caring person behind the highly skilled writing….

    Liked by 1 person

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