When I was ten years old I made a long list of things I hoped to achieve later in life. One of my main ambitions, lodged in between becoming an astronaut and drawing comics for a living, was to write a novel.
The plan was to do this before I turned thirteen, but it’s taken me a little bit longer than that. My early love of comic books eventually took me in a slightly different direction: a career in animation. I’ve worked as an animator on several feature films including Space Jam and Lost in Space, computer games like Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Driver, and television shows such as Tracy Beaker Returns and Hyperdrive. I recently co-produced two episodes of the lost Doctor Who adventure The Ice Warriors for DVD release.
But I continued to write until my first novel, Sorrowline, was completed . . . some decades after my thirteenth birthday. I’d like to take the credit for it, but I swear there’s something living under the stairs that whispers secrets to me when no one else is around.
I live in my native north-east England, where the voices under the stairs continue to influence my career path. And I still plan on becoming an astronaut and setting foot on Mars, but it might take me a few more decades to tick that one off my list.
Sorrowline, which won a Northern Promise award at the Northern Writers Awards 2011, was published in 2013 by Andersen Press with its sequel Timesmith following in 2014. Rights to both have also been sold in Germany, Brazil and Thailand.
More recently, I’ve written for licenced properties like Doctor Who and Blake’s 7, and I’m developing a number of original animation projects.