A) Thank and link back to the person who gave me this award: thank you, Charity Bradford, whose blog My Writing Journey I regularly tweet.
B) Share 7 things about myself.
1. I am an exhibited artist. I took part in a self-portrait experiment at the rather smart
Twentytwenty Gallery in Much Wenlock, Shropshire. Purely as a laugh, because I can never make pens do what I want them to do. I had a few goes in rough first. The first one came out far too small and squished in the corner, but at least there was room for more.
After some time I had managed several versions of myself if played by Ruby Wax, Matt Damon or someone with the wrong nose and a beard. Finally I ran out of space and stamina, so handed in the rough with a title: A Writer’s Quest for Control Over Hand and Pen. Not sure what the gallery made of it…
2 Readers of this blog will know I adored Doctor Who when I was a kid. Not only did it feed my imagination, I think it also informed my dress sense as I cannot resist outlandish boots.
3 My first published novel was Mirror Image, an MG horror romance in a series
under the house pseudonym Maria Palmer. It is credited as by Dave, but half-way through production the editors changed their mind about what they wanted for the series. Dave had a choice to cannibalise or give them a new book but he had no time for either. So I threw a plot together and wrote it for them. A few minor revisions … and I was a published author.
4 I’m constantly trying to iron out the wrinkles in my craft.
I wrote Mirror Image in 1992 and don’t dare look at it for fear of gauche discoveries.
5 I don’t believe it’s necessarily obvious what gender a writer is. Some of my ghosted titles are written as a man and no reviewer has ever spotted I am not in possession of a Y chromosome. And the ‘Maria Palmer’ project had several male authors pretending to be female. In the case of Mirror Image, no one guessed it was a female author pretending to be a male author who was pretending to be…
6 I grew up in Alderley Edge in Cheshire.
Nowadays it’s famous for rich footballers, but it’s also the setting of The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner. I used to roam for hours in woods that were full of mysterious caves – the very landscape used in Garner’s Arthurian tale.
7 As a child I was obsessed with the giant radio telescope Jodrell Bank.
From my bedroom window I could see it, far away. Where all else on the horizon was a flat band of blue, there was this great structure of steel, softened by the distance to a fine spiderweb. It moved all the time, reacting to unseeable events in deep space. Sometimes it was a bowl facing straight up into the air. Sometimes a half bicycle wheel. Sometimes it looked directly at me, a giant white eye.
I used to stare at it through binoculars, trying to catch it move. Like one of those experiments that proves the earth is rotating even when you can’t feel it, Jodrell Bank showed the sky was only a thin veil. Beyond was a black wilderness teeming with asteroids, quasars and machines on heroic journeys to other worlds.
C) My third task as a Versatile Blogger is to give the award to 15 blogs I have recently discovered.
This is always hard as I discover great blogs all the time, but these are people I haven’t passed awards on to before or otherwise tortured for personal information. I really hope they play – and put the link in the comments!
And guys, do check out Charity’s answers – she had some interesting tales to tell!