Here’s a short, rather potted history of my writing!
My first book was when I was 6 (starting young – you can find it erm published in my family house!), which was about how a pet shop mixed up a cat with a rabbit – weird, I know. The girl, all excited about her new pet, opens the box on the bus to find the wrong species hopping inside, so she goes to return it. Poor critter.
When I was younger, I was obsessed with the Animals of Farthingwood books, although probably weren’t suitable for the 7/8 year old I was then – believe me, they are nothing like the cartoons! I also read Redwall and a bit of Raymond E Feist (from my brother’s collection haha!) as well as other fantasy titles.
Anime did influence me as well, which led onto me watching a lot of Wong Kar Wai and reading Murakami’s magic realism novels, which I adore (but still need to finish IQ84). I love Angela Carter and her wonderfully whimsical tales, as well as Margaret Attwood and getting into Ursula Le Guin. Science Fiction was a slow burner for me to read, as I didn’t realise I had been writing it for such a long time before (one of the things I learnt at uni!). Of course, Philip K Dick and Bradbury as well as Asimov are great favourites of mine.
Ah, yes, the writing bit! I wrote a novella about two people who seek comfort in each other on the eve of a nuclear winter (made me hiss a bit when I heard about that film with Knightly and Carrell in it), as well as a post-apocalyptic novel with a twist for my dissertation. I will continue to work on these.
In the mean time, I wrote pieces for performance. From 2010 to 2011, I became involved in spoken word, joining the Roundhouse to performing for the first time at the Poetry Cafe on Feb 5th (still remember!). This was the first time also that I learnt how to be personal and share it with an audience. Anyone who knows me when I was little will know how shy I was with my writing – and the Roundhouse really helped me to actually reveal instead of conceal what I actually meant with my writing. This along with uni really helped me in a way that just practising to write on my own wouldn’t have done. I’m actually going to write the plus points for those who are starting university in another post. Another performance also included me writing and performing riddles and general improv for an instalment of Alice in Wonderland – Off with her head in Brockley Park. I was the caterpillar and was properly dressed for the role – blue face paint and all. We hid different things around the park and made the audience look for them as clues to my riddles. Great fun!
One of the biggest highlights of my life was to perform in the Edinburgh Festival. I had been there before under different circumstances, so it was great to write the experience fresh with the Roundhouse troupe, sharing a flat together right by all the action. The people we met, the shows we saw and the performances – I’ll never forget all these experiences! I really envy those up north right now!
Only at my MA did I discover writing scripts! The full length Pandora’s Box was written as part of my dissertation, and I’ve been writing plays ever since. I actually have written the first half of a supernatural film that needs a little tweaking here and there, so I really must get to it!