A little of my life.
Just the facts, Ma'am...
I have loved words since I was old enough to read and write them. There is just something magic about the English language. I have always been a voracious reader and wrote my first creative works (including a rhyming poem about the sadness of flowers!) when I was five or six years old. I would narrate my life in my head. In short, I have always been interested in writing. But it is only now at the age of thirty-six that I feel I am ready to take on the challenge of calling myself an author, which feels like an almost narcissistic step. You're not supposed to enjoy work, are you? You're not meant to aim for fame and fortune, just keep you're head down. Aren't you?
I grew up on a cattle station in the outback of Australia, not an obvious place to breed science fiction but my mother exposed me to many different genres from an early age. Chapeau, Maman. I read William Gibson’s Neuromancer while in my early teens and was enthralled. I went to boarding school in a small town in the hot dry tropics of Queensland, (more on this one day) and after decided to escape on an adventure. I took a gap year in the UK and ended up staying, in love with the history and culture of Britain and Europe. I took jobs in various areas, from trainee geophysicist to IT support and most recently web development. But one day I had the epiphany that none of these things had been what I was supposed to be, so I quit my job to write a book, throwing all caution to the wind because it was something I had to do.
In my spare time I am a martial arts instructor, training in the Bujinkan which studies the art of the ninja and samurai. From this art, I have travelled to train all over the world from Tokyo to Helsinki to Bangalore and now I run my own little Bujinkan club in Glasgow. I have used this experience to inform my action sequences and my travels and interest in mediaeval Japan to assist anthropological and language aspects of writing. My other interests include an addiction to popular science, historical fiction, etymology, and once upon a time, I could swear in sixteen languages. I live with my husband (without whose support this undertaking would go nowhere) in Scotland, where I love to walk the lochs and fells and think about the deeper questions in life.
I started out with SFF listening to the Hobbit at my mother's knee and after this followed many fantasty books - the Magician series by Raymond E. Fiest, Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin - or as I like to think of them, my gateway drug to scifi. I remember distinctly reading William Gibson - probably whilst too young, but anyway - and being blown away. Again, this was a book my mother had in her library. I discovered many other authors on my own including Alastair Reynolds, China Miéville, and Adam Roberts, whom I consider gods.
Influences extend to music. A controversial subject in our house is the Manic Street Preachers. My husband is a musician and detests the way they scan lyrics. I love them for their unashamedly political, bleak and beautiful lyrics and music, luxiurating in James Dean Bradfield's voice while the water dancer in my head tumbles into a backflip. there aren't too many bands who have been popular while writing songs about architects, photo journalists, sexual ambiguity and political revolution. I guess I'll add more influences here when I recall them, but this one jumped out at me.
Many of my influences have been dark, alternative, but most have had an undercurrent of the euphoria of being alive and a sense of something less mundane just around the corner.