What is your latest release and what genre is it? Streetwalker and other stories – Fiction, short stories, flash fiction
Quick description: In this collection of flash fiction we meet a variety of characters, many of whom have been deeply damaged by life. The stories range from a young prostitute who walks the dangerous streets of London to tales of vengeance and comeuppance. Serious issues of abuse of power are touched upon. Anyone who is looking for a comfortable read should avoid this book.
I was born in Liverpool on 6 January, 1969, a year best known of course for my birth. Well, no actually, it is better known for the moon landings which certain peculiar conspiracy theorists still maintain never took place (the moon landings that is, not my birth!).
One of my earliest recollections is of eating roast dinners on Saturday in British Home Stores with my grandfather. Although cooked in the kitchen of a department store they tasted wonderful to a small boy, but then again it is easy to look back at one’s childhood with rose-tinted spectacles.
On Saturdays my grandfather and I would invariably pop into W H Smiths and buy a book. Often he bought Enid Blyton books and I’ve happy memories of him reading to me about the adventures of Julian, Dick and Ann – not forgetting Timmy the Dog (who could!). Being blind, it was a real treat to sit on my grandfather’s knee and hear him regale me with children’s adventures. It was from my grandfather – a man who had never so much dreamed of going to university that I derived my love of literature.
As I grew older I learned to read braille which opened up a world of independent reading to me. Only a tiny proportion of books are available in braille. However it was still amazing to me, as a young boy to be able to sit with a book on my knee reading for myself. Besides braille, I was also a huge consumer of spoken word cassettes, everything from Treasure Island to Wuthering Heights.
I still possess almost all of the many cassettes which I purchased and that were bought for me over the years but many of them have now warped with age so are, sadly, unusable. Today it is the text to speech facility on my Kindle and iBooks (using voiceover) on my iPad which is my favourite means of accessing the wonderful world of literature.
I attended school in Liverpool and later went on to read history and politics at university. I must be a glutton for punishment as having obtained my degree I went on to study for and obtain an MA in political theory (I can see your eyes glazing over already)!
Since 1994 I have lived and worked in London. I live in Crystal Palace, a part of London high above sea level and famed for it’s steep hills. It is very green and the air is much fresher than many parts of London. I like where I live and I’m lucky that my home overlooks a large garden and an historic park.
I began to write seriously in mid 2012. All of my writing takes place in my spare room surrounded by books. Being blind I use a standard laptop with Jaws (software which converts text into speech and braille allowing me to access my computer’s screen). I cannot write with background noise other than the singing of birds as music, as conversation and other extraneous sounds interfere with my concentration. I do most of my writing at weekends and once the bit is between my teeth I can write for hours sustained by copious cups of coffee!
Other than writing I enjoy walking in green places with my guide dog, Trigger, listening to a wide variety of music and socializing with friends.
I hope that you enjoy my books.
What are you working on now?
I have a number of projects in the pipeline, including a story tackling the potential dangers posed by the internet for young people. To keep abreast of my writing please visit my blog.
Kevin’s reading recommendation:
The poems and prose of Ernest Dowson with a memoir by Arthur Simons.