What did I always want to be when I grew up? Well, aside from wanting to live like Peter Pan and never grow up – I founded CAGU, the Campaign for the Abolition of Growing Up – I wanted to be variously a vet (after watching All Creatures Great and Small and realising how intelligent you have to be), an architect (before I realise it’s mostly not visionary landmarks but house extensions and technical drawings of dropped curbs), a TV Cameraman, the guy who made those maps to illustrate news stories on the news…

Once I had got all these sensible suggestions out of my systems I settled on writer/author. I struggled for a bit with novels so tried plays, film scripts, and TV drama. I knew the odds were stacked against me but I always believed that I would be different – that I would break through. I would be the youngest writer to get published in a generation (Caitlin Moran kind of put pay to that idea with her Chronicles of Narmo). That I would win the Booker prize with my debut novel.

I went to college, where I studied (amongst other arts) Writing, and realised like I didn’t already know how much harder it was. It didn’t stop the dreaming though. The dreaming is part of what makes a writer. Which just means that when I hear today’s news that Fiona Mozley has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for her debut novel, it just brings up the jealousy. And not only has she had this awards success but she does it whilst working part-time in a book shop in York. Isn’t running a bookshop like my other dream?


Booker Prize: Selling my book 'strange and embarrassing'

Booker Prize: Selling my book ‘strange and embarrassing’