My first memory of writing a story was when I was in primary school. My English teacher was offering a box of Quality Street as a prize for the best story. I won and from then on I was hooked. As you can imagine the sweets have long be eaten, but not with them my appetite for writing. I love inventing new characters and building their imaginary lives. I’ve still got that first story, though I won’t embarrass myself by offering it up for print.
The greatest gift that I have been given is the chance to get my stories published in the “The People’s Friend” and then when my first pocket novel “Hidden Secrets” was printed, my life couldn’t have got any better, and every time one of my short stories or pocket novels is published, I still get a great rush of pride to have been accepted by such experienced editors, who give such wise advice to us writers.
I have been asked many times why I write. I can only tell you that if I don’t write the day seems somehow flat. I know that is not a proper answer and to some it won’t make sense, but to me it does. Friends also ask where do I get my ideas from and that question is easier to answer. Everywhere. I can get inspired by listening to people talking, newspapers, reading, books, television, magazines, dreams and the list is too numerous to put down in this blog.
Sometimes I feel that I live in two worlds the fiction world and the real world. I think I am very lucky to be able to do this. In my pocket novels there is always a happy ending after a few hurdles, and I find this very satisfying. Also I do enjoy writing for competitions. A couple of my favourites were “The Guildford Short Story Competition” and “The Slough Arts Award”. I was so proud to get my name on the cup, though sometimes I didn’t think I would as I came second twice. I rarely write poetry but when I do I enjoy the challenge.
When I was growing up my favourite book was the “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” as well as a mountain of other books. I am still a constant reader getting through on average around two books a week. I do most of my reading late at night or on the train, and when I can I snatch ten minutes here or there through the day.
I am married to a geologist. Last year we went to Paris and stayed in the hotel where the writer Ernest Hemingway stayed. It was a place I’d been wanting to go to for what seemed forever. I could almost see all the great writers eating their breakfasts, sitting where I was, and I can tell you it was quite an experience. One that I will never forget.
Chris’s latest pocket novel, “Who’s That Girl?” is in shops now!