As a child I can remember receiving my first set of Ladybird books which contained children’s classics like the Grimm fairy tales and I would spend hours reading through them, enchanted by characters like the mysterious Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel or Hansel and Gretel.
From an early age I was always interested in TV and films too, and would be completely engrossed in anything which happened to be set in an alternate, magical or medieval world, anything different to the normality of 80’s Britain.
I first became interested in Fantasy novels at secondary school when I was urged by a friend to read The Lord of The Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. Not being a prolific reader at the time, it took me quite a long time to get through it, but once I had read it I was fascinated by the world which Tolkien had created.
Perhaps the biggest influence on my writing would have to be Terry Pratchett. After I left school my first job was in a factory warehouse in Liverpool and part of my duties was loading and unloading the wagons. Sometimes I would get to park the staff cars after a sales rep had brought in a delivery and it was on one of these occasions that I noticed a book on the passenger seat of one of the cars, it was ‘Mort’ by Terry Pratchett. I was initially drawn to the iconic cover illustration by Josh Kirby and after I read the book blurb on the back cover I was hooked. I had to read it.
I went out and bought the book the next day, and was completely blown away by it. Not realising that I was, in fact, reading the fourth in a series of novels, I then bought the rest of the Discworld books and read them all in order.
I am also a musician, and since my early teens I have always played in a rock band. As well as playing the guitar, I am also a songwriter, and I particularly enjoy writing lyrics. In the summer of 2012 I decided to take this one step further, and try to write a novel. As I work full time in the theatre industry, I have to write on a part time basis, wherever and whenever I can which is mostly evenings and weekends. In the summer of 2013, after a year of hard work, and a whole lot of fun, I had something. A book. My debut novel ‘Minology’.
I love writing teen-fiction, as that is the age that I was at when I fell in love with the fantasy genre, and I hope that you will enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them.
Mark Murphy, 2014