I was born in Dublin in September 1978. As far back as I can remember I have been interested in stories. As with most boys of my generation, that started and ended with the ‘Star Wars’ films of 1977-83. I couldn’t get enough of them.
As I grew older I began to think of stories of my own, and to my surprise, they were never like ‘Star Wars’ at all. I remember that I used to love wandering around video shops and looking at all the covers of the 18 rated films and coming up with what I thought the story could be based on the cover.
At about the age of 11 or 12, I started to write horror stories in copybooks at school. I would always have an idea for a long story and my enthusiasm would run out before I finished it, or it would be replaced with a new idea that I would just have to start writing straight away.
This continued on through my teenage years and even my twenties. I would last longer on a story than I did when I was younger but the end result was that apart from a few longish, short stories, I had nothing finished.
In 2009 I was made redundant and found it very difficult, the height of the recession as it was, to get another job. I decided during this time that I would make an effort to get more serious about some of the things in my life. With this in mind, I enrolled in a Distance Education Creative Writing course where I was tutored by the wonderful Eileen Casey who showed me some of the things I was doing wrong and set me on a better path.
More importantly, I tried internet dating and met my now wife Aisling on the very first day I signed up. She was the only person I met up with and now 7 years later we are married with two beautiful little boys.
With Aisling’s encouragement, I sent off a draft of my first book ‘The Brave Festival’ to Helen Falconer for criticism. She was very helpful and the book was not torn apart in the way that I had been afraid it would be. There were certainly major issues to be fixed and I learned a lot from this critique that would go on to be invaluable in my future writing.
I self-published ‘The Brave Festival’ and a short story collection called ‘The Great Brutality’ at the same time, in May 2012 and I have to admit that feeling was priceless. I still feel it when I publish a book. My next book introduced the character of Mitch Uncle Bony, a man who was born a skeleton. ‘The Case for Skeletons’ was better received that the first two books had been. Over the next couple of years, I followed the story of Mitch with the books ‘Michelin’ and ‘Luminescence.’ The basic idea was writing from the point of view of an outsider who couldn’t fit in and though there are comic moments I did intend this to be more dramatic than funny.
With this same theme in mind, I wrote and published ‘The Story of Furniture Anderson’ about a young man in Dublin who also can’t fit in with the world he lives in. I liked this book a lot, it is much better than the previous ones, but it did not sell well and I know this was down to my poor blurb writing skills and bad marketing.
After this, I took a completely different approach and wrote ‘The Dolocher.’ This mystery set in Dublin in 1788 was a big hit for me. It has been sold and downloaded almost 8,000 times since release and is still going strong. The sequel will be released in September 2016.
I unpublished all of my books except ‘The Dolocher’ on 31stDecember 2015 to focus on a better quality for all my future books.
To try another genre, I next wrote a Young Adult story called ‘Rattleyard.’ This is about a monster who lurks underneath a mining town and the children who have to face it. This was released in March 2016.
While all of the above was going on I also wrote two what I call ‘serious fiction books.’ The first one is ‘Crowbar Junction’ which I think I will always consider my best book. It is at the third draft now and I do hope to finish it completely in the next couple of years. I also wrote ‘The End’ a novel in completed first draft format about a man finding himself just prior to and during the recession in Ireland.
In April 2015, I started my own business called ‘Ghost Creative’ where I offer my services as a ghost writer. I have been in demand and very busy with this since that day and it is seriously hampering my own writing projects!