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Back when I first started to write…

We’re all writers, right?

And every story starts with a beginning. So I thought I’d share the beginning of my writing journey with you.

Like 95% of writers, I have always loved writing. Back in the eighties – 1985 on a Friday night if memory serves – I used to video tape (remember those?), a TV cop show called Dempsey and Makepeace. Then, on Saturday morning, I’d get up at the crack of dawn before anyone else to watch, write, and rewind the show until I’d written the whole script. Makes me laugh now, knowing how easy it is today to find scripts on that revolutionary tool called the internet. But, back in ’85, I had to make do with a VCR, writing pad, and my trusty biro.

The Crime-stopping duo

So what was my reason for doing this? To adapt the episode into a novel of course.

And, over the years, my passion for writing never dwindled. Well, I misplaced it for a few years while I went to college, worked in a chartered accountants, slogged my guts out at OK! Magazine, and wrote a car off while at Essex Police.

Then, a good few years ago, I began writing articles for magazines and my passion returned.

So, how did I get to where I am now? Well, I have two different stories.

The first involves a lady you all know very well; the fabulous Kristen Lamb. By pure luck, she came across a chapter I’d written on the internet and, through sheer generosity, she emailed me some criticism. And, there began my novel writing career and my friendship with a true hero.

Up until that point, I’d only written one novel – a romantic thriller called ‘The Stalker’. Friends had read it and loved it. Naturally leading me into thinking I was onto a winner.

I worked hard with Kristen as she bamboozled me with plotting, character profiling, the three-act structure, conflict, ARC’s, inciting incidents, antagonists, protagonists, and minions. She totally pulled me out of my comfort zone and I quickly realised what a load of rubbish I’d actually written. The story was okay, but the characters were so boring and one dimensional. Worse still, they had no flaws!

Today, however, I’m glad to report I’m a fully fledged psychotic nutter with no switch to turn off my imagination. In fact, my tagline “I could write for Days of our Lives” is Kristen’s description of me.

So, began my second novel. Only this one I wrote the Warrior Writers Boot Camp (WWBC) way. After months of researching, character profiling, plotting, and re-plotting, I was ready to start writing another thriller……

Only Jason Statham could play my villain

And, all was going well until I met Natalie Hamilton. She’d just finished film school in London, wanted to write a paranormal screenplay, and asked if I’d like to help. At first, I was a little apprehensive. I am not a massive YA paranormal fan. Sure, I liked the first couple of seasons of The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural is one of my all-time favorites, but vampires had been done to death and I didn’t want any part of bringing to life anymore. However, after a full five minutes deliberating, I agreed to become a co-writer. I knew nothing about script writing but what the hell. There was one condition though….. No Vampires!

So, together we began to plot out a story. Kristen’s WWBC training became invaluable, and I applied it to screenwriting the same as I had my novel.

Now I was working on two different stories in two different formats at the same time.

It was during this time that Kristen invited me out to Texas to attend the DFW Writing Convention. I thought, why not? I could pitch my novel to an agent and see what they thought.

Coincidently, around this time, Natalie and I had finished the script to the then titled “Legend” and decided to take the plunge and stop in L.A. first, you know, to see if we could get a bite out there. We emailed hundreds of queries and waited.

Wayne Alexander, an entertainment lawyer, read it and promptly emailed it across to Amy Schiffman, a manager and literary agent colleague of his at IPG. She loved the script and wanted to meet us.

So, out go Natalie and I, wet behind the ears, totally out of our depth, and expecting the whole experience to swallow us whole. We couldn’t have been more wrong. We loved Wayne and Amy, and they seemed to love us. Amy became our manager, gave us a ton of ideas to start work on, and asked if I would adapt the script into a novel.

After three whirlwind days of producers, lawyers, and managers in L.A., Natalie and I flew to Texas; where I pitched an idea for a book I hadn’t even thought of writing two days previously. Luckily, the agent loved the idea and asked to see a chapter or two when I’d written them.

If that whole scenario wasn’t amazing enough, Kristen gave me a fabulous stetson, took me shooting, and I bought a wicked pair of cowboy boots.

20130503_202030That’s me in the centre

Since then Natalie and I have written two TV pilots, and the ‘Legend’ (the novel version) has become the Hunted Trilogy Series.

If you want more of me, try checking out: FacebookTwitterInstagram, and You Tube.

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