I was always very good at writing my name. I was a good form filler too. And I could write a cracking essay when I was in the mood. But I never imagined in a million years that I would ever be able to write a book that came from my imagination.
Then one day about fifteen years ago I visited a clairvoyant in a shabby back room in a new age-y shop in King's Cross, London. She was a wily old bird who told me that writing was going to be very important to me. I didn't believe her, of course, as I was desperate to be recognised as an operatic tenor at the time and it was Covent Garden or bust. But the seed had been planted.
A few years later, when I was playing Monsieur D'Arque in Disney's Beauty and the Beast in Stuttgart, I started writing in the most surprising way. I was having a difficult time or, more precisely, my planet-sized ego was. I seemed to be getting nowhere, while all those around me seemed to be getting calls from Kubrick by the minute.
I went home one night and, in a Road to Damascus moment, realised I had a choice. I could either swim in self-pity or ... write! And write I did. Not prose, but verse! And that was the most surprising thing, because I had never ever seen myself as a poet. What emerged from my scrubby Bic biro was a song called The Oscar Song in which a famous Hollywood actress explains with disarming candour exactly how she reached the pinnacle of her profession. If you want to hear the song, just copy this link:
From there I naturally gravitated towards writing for young children. This is mainly because I myself have the mind of a six year old. So when I got back to London I enrolled on an excellent Children's Writing course at the City Lit. Having been told that books in verse and counting books were nigh impossible to sell, I sold One Newt in a Suit to Hodder ... a rhyming counting book! Since then I've sold four more picture books and developed creatively in many different directions. I am a film maker, song writer, web designer and photographer. And I am STILL developing, so ... WATCH THIS SPACE! Who knows! Maybe I'll be a ballet dancer next!