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Above all, I am a passionate storyteller. How I came to be one or which medium I tell my stories through doesn’t really matter. If you are interested though, here are some things that led me to be a storyteller, and a writer in particular.
I wrote my first novel at age 4. It had three pages which were mostly filled with stickers and illustrations. At this point, my mother, who is also a writer, happened to give me the most useful piece of writing advice in my career. ‘You know, I think it should have a plot, dear,’ she said. Other than that, she was sure it was very good.
This didn’t deter me from attempting to complete more novels. You don’t want to know how many I didn’t finish, but I was finally successful when I wrote Spiral Mind, my debut novel, which was fortunate enough to fetch my first publishing deal with Orange Pip Books of MX Publishing last year. This really is the biggest claim I can lay on the occupation of ‘writer.’ It has also taught me how at age 24, the term ‘author’ seems weirdly senior to my budding little career. Either way, this story has mainly got me where I am now, in the literary storytelling corner. My postgraduate studies in Creative Writing at Durham Uni might also have had something to do with that, as might my BA in English and Psychology from Heidelberg Uni.
I didn’t always plan on being a novelist, not that I can say that this is what I’m going to be for the rest of my life, but I certainly wouldn’t mind. I have also dabbled in filmmaking, theatre, and music. I really like telling stories through different media, and then parodying said media in other media. There is nothing like filming an entire day of footage in a format the editing software doesn’t like, or fighting with an actor why Gandalf can’t have a Gucci hat on a student budget. Did I mention I like comedy? It’s really become a relieving outlook on life for me. So far, I have written and directed four short films, and two plays, which have all influenced my prose in many ways. Some people seem to have detected a cinematic eye – it might be a smudge on the page, though, who knows.
When it comes down to it, I think I am a writer, not because it is lots of fun, or because of the power words have creating images, when they are otherwise so much faff to capture with a film crew. At the core of it, I truly believe that storytelling can teach us who we are, show us different worlds and give us experiences that take others a lifetime to acquire. In a story, we can grow in thrill and safety to be a more rounded character in real life. Have Shakespeare approve of yourself – you might just end up in an interesting life.