My first brush with fantasy fiction was in 1984, when Mrs Christine Bracewell, my teacher, read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to my class. This was the turning point for me, when I started to read whatever I could get my hands on. This was also when I decided I would be a writer. My writing was first noted by another primary teacher, Mrs Bridgett, after I wrote a review of an educational TV item, called Paddle to the Sea. The story was read out to the school assembly and hung up in the school’s hall for many years. Something that I am still very proud of. I didn’t really develop this talent much though until I came under the tutelage of Mr Hodgkinson, the school’s deputy head and horror fan, in 1988. After primary school, I went to an Islamic College and Secondary School, a privately run boarding school. Here my brother introduced me to the late and great, David Gemmell, by way of Ghost King and King Beyond the Gate.
At 14, my brother, a mutual friend and I decided to write a short story together, about a group of kids who meet up at their teacher’s house to play a fantasy role playing game. They come across a mirror that they purchase for their mentor. Unwittingly they discover that the mirror is a portal to the void. The children are sucked through and enter another world. Unfortunately, my brother and friend weren’t as serious about the story as I myself was. So I dropped the team act and continued to write on my own. After a feverish four weeks of scribbling in exercise books, I completed the 420 page 1st draft in several exercise books. The covers and margins were full of little sketches of the characters and maps of Kryllon. I settled on the title The Trollking.
The following year, my father paid for a home study course with the Writer’s School to help me improve my skills, whilst I continued my studies at the boarding school. I remained with the Writing School for two years, under the tutelage of the late Sydney J Bounds. Eventually, I began to write for the College’s monthly magazine on Islamic mysticism (Sufism), which gave me access to a computer. Thus began one of many rewrites of The Trollking.
I graduated from the Islamic College in 1998, and after a short spell of teaching there, I went on in 1999 to study for a BA Honours in English Studies, with Media Studies and Creative Writing at Buckinghamshire Chiltern’s University College. During this period, I wrote games reviews for the University’s student rag Intercourse and for an indy videogame retailer’s website. I graduated from University in 2002.
Since then I’ve had a number of short stories published under a few pen names and my first novel , The Changeling King is now available in print and ebook formats.