Three years ago I was still relatively unpublished. I’d previously had a short story called Farming Tsiolkovsky placed with Demensions magazine and a handful of non-fiction gaming articles (albeit paid articles) published with the Journal of the Travellers’ Aid Society. What I really wanted to do was write novels.
At this point I’d completed three ‘practice’ novels: a historical/Lovecraftian thriller set aboard a British airship, a mundane hard-SF novel with a rather turgid plot and a dystopian cyberpunk novel set in near-future London. These had all been sent off to various agents and publishers and I’d received the usual ‘no thanks’ response slips or just nothing at all. I decided that my writing needed help, especially at a technical level, and so I looked around for a local evening class. I eventually ended up swapping emails with Jon Glover, head of Creative Writing at nearby Bolton University, about joining that year’s intake for a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing.