By complete chance I stumbled back into writing not novels but factual books when I rediscovered my love for magic and conjuring during my years in the band Georgia Wonder (itself named after a magician of sorts). I’d been bought a magic set aged four and had always ‘kept my hand in’, and writing books for a very small minority of underground magicians and ‘mind-readers’ was a pleasant diversion from music and a good excuse to practice one of my favourite hobbies. The books were well received, and I was encouraged by some well known names in the field to write more.
The turning point came when I started writing books on cold reading techniques for these people, which led to me forming The Cold Reading Company before going mass-market, and I’m as surprised as anyone that I have now written several books on the subject, including books on palmistry, graphology, cartomancy, numerology and star signs. I have a love for breaking complex ideas down in to manageable chunks, and my writing style seems to have hit a nerve as my books have rarely been out of the top 20 in their respective categories since publication.
Of course, a few years of writing factual books has rekindled my desire to make things up, which is why I’ve embarked on a fiction writing escapade. My first novel will be Recital which is currently under development. There are many stories I feel the need to tell and this one seemed the easiest, seeing as it’s set within the world of classical music. I’m regretting that decision now of course, as in hindsight it would have been much easier to write a novel on a topic that I knew nothing about and be swept along on a wave of naivety, but you live and learn.
In many ways I feel like I’ve come full circle as I sold my first literary attempt, written and illustrated by myself on the pages of a school exercise book, to an seven year old in a school playground, for the princely sum of fifty pence. I was six.
(His mother found out and he had to return the book for the fifty pence, but it was a small victory nevertheless – it’s a good job I was too young to know how to spend it!)