When I was 14 I fell in love with a character in a novel. Reading gave me joy, sorrow, anger and desperation. Some frightened the bejesus out of me and some confused me.
I read everything I could and even attempted to write myself, but rarely got further than a page or two before I ran out of words.
Then I found a character so annoying that I wanted to shout at the author. I couldn’t believe that such a badly written story could be published. Surely I could do better.
So I wrote my own novel. For more than a month I tapped away but when I finished, I read it and realised it if I pulled one thread, the whole thing would fall apart. I realised that my characters had grown and evolved. The plot I had in mind could not work because I knew they would never behave like that.
This prompted me to enter the world of higher education. With two young children at home and two at school, I couldn’t attend a college so I applied for a short creative writing course with the Open University. A174 Start Writing Fiction was a course that would teach me how to fix my novel and I would publish.
Instead I got bitten by the learning bug and decided to learn more about literature.