I began writing stories and books when I was about fourteen – so many years ago! Throughout my teens, twenties and early thirties I entertained myself by writing thirty-seven novels and collections of short stories. None of these were ever published. I sent one to a publisher but it was instantly rejected. I did however win several story competitions during the early 80’s, including one of five runners-up prizes in The Mail on Sunday’s very first ‘Start of a Novel’ competition.
In the late 80s I bought an early camcorder and, having always been fascinated by cinema and the film making process, I collected together a group of friends and made a short amateur film. I based the screenplay on a short story I’d written some time before (and which had actually been read on BBC Radio). More friends became interested and more films were made, totalling thirty between 1988 and 2015. In each case I would write the screenplay, produce, direct, edit and often appear in these films. None were ever publicly shown and were never intended to be: they were screened privately for the cast and friends and relatives.
By 2005 many of the participants had moved on and with a slight change of direction in mind I joined a local amateur theatre group. I loved the experience instantly and, joining a second company in 2007, began performing in five or six plays a year. (I can never do anything by halves!) I have now appeared in about sixty plays and continue to do so. I have also directed three plays.
Ironically my fellow actors learned of the earlier films I had made and expressed a great desire to appear in one. So I made three more films between 2011 and 2015, now with the actors from the theatre companies. The last of these was a ghost story called The Grey Mist…
Early in 2016 one of my theatre companies began to consider putting on a ghost play in October for the Halloween period and, having failed to find one that was both suitable and available, asked me if I could write one specifically for them. I told them the story was already written and adapted The Grey Mist for the stage. In fact the play was not performed until October of the following year. It was my first attempt at writing a stage play though clearly not my first attempt at writing.