Whilst at the university
my friend told people in the theatre group that I had written a couple
of plays; now it’s a bit strange because I never went to the theatre
and didn’t mix with arty and theatrical people; in fact when I wrote
it was the black and white television screen from my childhood that was
in my mind that showed those plays that I remembered for being dark and
confined and a place to vent feelings and emotions.
The theatre company
liked one of my plays and took it to Edinburgh where it was performed
on the fringe for three weeks and luckily got good reviews.
After university I
trained to be a lecturer for people with special needs, but didn’t
work in that area but rather went back to casual work as a builder’s
I wrote another play
and then my first novel, Malayan Swing before writing a few more novels.
A few years ago I concentrated on writing just novels as I felt I could
have a greater space to explore what was on my mind; although I wrote
a play, Seventeen, whilst working in a victim’s group in West Belfast
in 2005 and a short play, Looking Good, in 2006 which was performed at
the Bush Theatre.
books I feel made an impression on me were Nineteen Eighty Four by George
Orwell and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. I liked the style that isn’t
pretentious, being descriptive and having sympathy with its characters.
I especially liked the style of American writers who explore the large
picture through the experience of the small person; it seemed to me that
in the English style, except for the notable few, emotions and specific
worth are not afforded to people not coming from a professional background.
My work does seem to focus on the experience of the ‘outsider;’
a theme, I suppose, that was common in the work of The Lurkers.