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Up until the age of 16 I enjoyed reading crime novels, like Agatha Christie and P.D. James, amongst other crime authors, but if I'm being honest I was also a telly junkie. I would normally spend long hours glued to the TV. While slumped in front of the box one spring day in holiday time, my mother came into the room and said the penetrating words, "do you not think you should educate yourself by reading a little, rather than always watching the television mindlessly". These words were like a bolt from the blue, and a wake-up call. It completely changed my path from that moment on.
From that age, I immersed myself in current affairs, then the Arts and culture section in the weekend papers. This then progressed to fiction and non-fiction books related to the Arts primarily. Then at university and up to the present day, I have been an avid reader of commentaries on Buddhism, mindfulness and meditation books, while still engaging in the Arts & culture and human stories from the weekend paper supplements. Fictional books, biographies and memoirs have also not left my purview.
I particularly got into writing at the University of Warwick, where I was working for 5 years as an architect. Many long emails, reports and an Estates Strategy booklet were created in this environment, which I thoroughly enjoyed. This gave me a taster for the writing to come.
After a span of 18 months, writing, editing and helping to design my first book, I self-published an auto fictional book in April 2016. This was about my mental episode in 2014, which consisted primarily of paranoia and a short bout of mania, plus my parallel architectural and spiritual/Buddhist paths.
I received some very complimentary feedback from readers, with one of the commonest being that it was an insightful and compelling read. I took to heart one woman's comment that said it would have been better as a memoir, as it would then be a rawer and more honest account. She thought it was an eye-opening narrative, and she would have liked to know what was the truth of my story. By penning a memoir, it would therefore not be blurring the lines between fiction and fact, which autofiction is prone to do.
After the publication of that book and a little gap of time, I started on my journey as an artist.
In August 2021, I revisited my auto fiction manuscript. I decided to adapt it into a memoir, which is now entitled, 'Looking Out for Me: A Spiritual Journey from Paranoia to Acceptance'. I spent 5 months further editing it. Once this was complete, I sought out a traditional publishing house.
I held out for just over 10 months before finding Cherish Editions. This is the self-publishing division of Trigger Publishers. It is a hybrid publishing solution, but not a vanity press. This means that I have the freedom and flexibility of self-publishing with the guidance and experience of a reputable publishing house.
Below you can find some experience
I have had in interviews and creative writing:
July 2023 - Leamington Courier article about my memoir, 'Looking Out for Me' https://www.warwickshireworld.com/news/people/leamington-artist-publishes-book-about-his-recovery-from-a-mental-health-episode-4218264
June 2021 - Interviewed by Bernie Keith on BBC Radio Northampton about my first self-published auto fiction book.
April + May 2021 - Interviewed twice on Chat and Spin Radio about my first self-published auto fiction book.
2014/2015 - Affiliated to Writers Bureau course.
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