A Brief Biography
The tagline to this site should tell you two very important things about me; I am a writer and I travel.
As with anyone, however, I am multi-faceted, full of contradictions and many interests, a list that seems to grow as I get older. Here I will share a few thoughts about me if you want to more read on but, honestly, the tagline works too.
I am Scottish. Technically I was born in England, in a now dead and disappeared county, but my family moved to the far northern islands of Orkney when I was eight and I grew up there and Scotland remains the closest thing I have to a home.
I am not that young. I was born in 1977, one of the micro-generation of people who experienced an analogue childhood and a digital adulthood. Sometimes called Xennials, sometimes ‘The Star Wars Generation’, this had a definite impact on how I see the world.
I have been writing stories for as long as I can remember. Indeed, I still have some early school exercise books with my first tales, many simply entitled ‘The Adventure’. By the time I was a teenager I was handwriting hundreds of pages of novels, often somewhat cringeworthily crafted in the style of whoever I was reading at the time. We learn from these words, we grow through experience. I still write. Lots.
Writing, for me, is travelling. Not in the travel = travail = work sense (well, that too), but in that when we create, whether fiction or otherwise, we are on a journey. This is a journey through words, yes, but it is also a journey through time. So often we use experience, whether directly, or indirectly, to influence our work, looking to the past to create a version of a tale. Then, once we let our words go, release them into the world, we are also sending them on their own adventure through time and space.
I write a story and I do not know how many times it will be read, in what corners of the globe (or even not on this world), or when. Writers are the holders of magic keys to the future and the past. This is a noble tradition.
Only recently did I consider this — in nations where the Protestant work ethic (AKA slave away for the machine and the boss until you retire and die — America and the UK, I’m looking at you) — in these nations the idea of the writer as a slacker, as someone who does not contribute to society in a meaningful way, is still shockingly prevalent. Words are not valued as they should be. In other places, when I have sheepishly answered ‘So, what do you do?’ with ‘I’m a writer’, expecting that derision so common in my past, I have been a bit surprised by the excitement, the warmth and genuine interest in my work. This revelation made me happy — there are many places where the writer is still admired, and I love this with all my heart and words.
For now, these words will suffice to briefly discuss who I am, and what is important to me. There will also be a category which will add to this page, where I will discuss other things I see as crucial to who I am. Introspection is important to me, it aids my work and helps me feel calm, confident in my direction. There is much to discuss, as there is about every single one of you reading and the countless billions who also have their own stories.
Humankind is remarkable: we need to remember this.