Author Dan Thompson knew he wanted to become a writer from a young age
Dan, 29, says he was very determined from a young age to become a writer.
He said: “I have a folder in my filing cabinet which holds all the short stories and picture books I wrote when I was about nine or 10-years-old.
“I scribbled away, writing page after page after page, and when I was finished I borrowed my mum’s sewing kit and stitched the pages together to make a proper book.
“I’ll never show them to anyone, but it’s nice to take them out every now and again, just to remind myself when my love of writing began.”
Dan was a student at Queen Elizabeth’s High School and after completing his A Levels he decided instead of going to University to enrol on a Writers Bureau writing course.
He said: “I loved it. I started off learning how to write articles and short pieces for magazines before going on to understand the structure of writing fiction.
“It didn’t take long until I saw my articles featured in county magazines, as well as featuring in some national glossy magazines too.
“It was hard work, but well worth it.
“At the same time, I was writing fiction in dribs and drabs.
“Nothing concrete, but steadily working out what my style and angle was.
“One of my favourite authors, Philip Pullman, once wrote: ‘Write for yourself, because you’re the only one that matters.’
“I’ve stuck to that quote ever since. Pullman is an inspiration to me and I often turn to his books, especially His Dark Materials, when I need a spark of creativity.”
Dan has a few releases to his name now including The Caseworker’s Memoirs, Here Lies Love and The Black Petal.
Dan said: “Here Lies Love has been the most well received book, which I find quite surprising as it is a very dark book.
“I still get emails from people who have read it and loved it. usually wanting to know when I’m going to write the sequel.
“I recently got an email from a woman in Chile. It’s astounding to think that thanks to the ebook boom, people can still read your books thousands and thousands of miles away.
“Getting letters and emails is one of the greatest rewards for me.
“My work isn’t considered commercial, so when someone gets in touch, it really makes my day.”
Dan found the at the start of this year that he had fallen out of love with writing.
He said: “Nothing I wrote seemed to work and I wasn’t happy with any of it. I was ready to throw the towel in. I had had enough.
“If it wasn’t for my writer friends perhaps I would have given up, but they pulled me around. They helped me through the difficult months where all I had was a blank screen and no words to count.
“I had to learn to love writing all over again.
“Jaimie, one such friend, encouraged me to write for fun.
“No deadline, no pressure; just write away and see where I end up.
“She was right, of course. It took a while, but I worked through the wall I’d built up.
“I’ve recently released two digital short stories, which I worked on throughout this time, Ana’s Trial and Hatred Hidden.
“And I’ve recently started on a new project, but I’m taking it one step at a time. I’m trying out a new genre and the target audience is very different to the teenage market I usually write for.
“But I’m not putting pressure on myself. I’m here for the long haul and to learn as I go on.
“I don’t want to burn myself out like I had done before, to such an extent where I nearly gave up the work I love the most.
“I don’t ever want to be in that position again.”