I’ve always had an affinity for weirdos and strange things. My favourite movie as a child was Halloween and my favourite TV shows were Doctor Who, Twin Peaks, and The Ricki Lake Show. Books, however, were my obsession and main mode of escape. I had a bumpy upbringing. Noisy, busy, stressful – but never boring. My brother was an armed robber who wasn’t very good at his job. My sisters were cool and encouraging, often having parties while my mum was out. If I needed to be alone, I headed up to the library. The library was always my calm place. I read obsessively. I still do. Soon enough, I knew I wanted to be a writer. More than that, I wanted to be the sort of author whose books I’d want to read. Becoming the author that the young version of myself would love took a while, but I’m getting there. Writing isn’t an art, it’s a craft. You get better at it the more you write. I wanted to be like all my writing heroes which meant working hard, writing harder. I also try to embody everything that appealed to me. Zany, weird, silly, surreal, and ridiculous. At some point I found punk. Or maybe punk found me? I identify as punk. For me, punk represents being who you want to be, having a different perspective, going against the trends, moving in your own direction. Punk is freedom. It goes beyond music. It’s more than Nirvana, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Hole, Sex Pistols, The Slits, Bratmobile and all the other bands I love. I’ve been performing live for years, telling stories to audiences around the country. I’ve visited theatres, halls, schools, and libraries with audiences now totalling in the thousands. COVID-19 has paused that, but with luck things will change soon. Books are always more exciting when they’re presented live in person. I always held my favourite authors in the same esteem as my favourite popstars.
My first novel for adults is Happiness Is Wasted On Me. It takes place in Scotland’s infamous ‘ugly’ town Cumbernauld. Set in the ’90s, it spans a decade in the life of asexual Walter Wedgeworth, who is trying to find his place in the world. But a dark discovery and his uniquely dysfunctional family won’t make things easy. With a backdrop of grunge, Britpop, New Labour, and The Spice Girls, this is a book very much of a time that no longer exists. I’m currently working on a new novel.