Then life, pulls the rug from under your feet, redundancy, meant a bigger focus on providing for the family and paying the mortgage. So writing was again put to one side, but not forgotten. In fact I came up with; well what I thought was a cunning plan. Literary agents, ask for a covering letter, three chapters of your novel and a synopsis. So that is what I did, the first 5000 words had been written, I knew where the next 95,000 were going, just not written. Plus given the knowledge that you get loads of rejections before an agent takes an interest in you, I thought, plenty of time to finish the book.
I was wrong. An agent from the first batch of four agents asked to see the rest of the book, which of course were still some 90,000 words short of a full thriller novel. I did come clean with her, she in turn advised me that the way I write is between two genres, my thriller was a little too cosy. (People get shot and die, is that cosy?) She also commented that I wrote like Nick Hornby, so maybe I should consider more light hearted writing. I sat back, another opportunity squandered.
Even though the advice was more light hearted writing, I still wanted to write thrillers, so spurred on by a positive reaction I started to write seriously, well as seriously as one can ever right, given that I still needed to work full time to support family and mortgage.
Then it was time for my mid-life crisis, which manifested itself in a number of jobs, having been brought on by the photographic world going all digital leaving me still in the darkroom. I drifted away from photography and ended up fundraising for a charity helping the homeless. Which to be fair I was pretty good at, I raised over half a million pounds from the National Lottery, which is a lot better than the odd £10 win I had on the weekly draw. That was followed by a spell as a security manager, cleaning manager, contracts manager before I went off to France to cut peoples grass for a living. Before coming back to Blighty and settling down, doing some more fundraising for another charity and then personnel manager. Now this last spell of work included a regular commute to London, which afforded me some time to write. Technology having advanced sufficiently over the years, you no longer need to plug in a computer, the age of the laptop. Although to be fair, thirty years ago there would have been nothing to stop me putting my Imperial typewriter on my lap and loudly tapping away.
Hence I managed to write one novel and three quarters of another one. Not bad, mostly due in part to South-eastern Trains having daily delays. However, writing is the first stage, or as one writer said, the first draft is the beginning of a never ending end. So I am currently rewriting the first draft, sharpening the plot, making it less cosy, creating malicious memorable characters, in short a book that agents will fight over, that’s the plan.
So why am I now saying I am a writer? I have decided that as the family has grown and fled the nest, the mortgage is paid off; I have given up regularly paid work for the bohemian lifestyle of a penniless writer. Whether I die penniless or a rich famous author, only history will tell. Yet at least when they lower me down into that deep pit, I know I will have tried.
And my writing, well have a look around my website and judge for yourself. Was it worth it?