‘Wake up’ the writer’s brain!
I remember well the moment I became a writer. Just a few years ago and I was coming home after a day of working hard and collapsing down in front of the television set, like a lot of people I guess. Remote control in hand I would surf the abundant list of channels, detuning my brain for four or five hours every night watching programme after programme. Nothing new you say? Loads of people do the same thing, right? Yes, but I was lucky to get a wake-up.
One night a friend stopped by and asked what I was watching… I thought about it, but I couldn’t remember! I just couldn’t bring to mind what I had been watching, or what the programme before that had been either. We laughed at the time, but it kinda shocked me – I didn’t know it at the time, but it was my wake-up call.
A few nights later, I started to do the same thing, but then I stopped, thought about it, and turned off the television. Surely there was something a little more I could do with my life, my free time? I sat at my laptop, opened up a clean Word file (I don’t think I ever used Word before this!) and stared for a while at the blank screen… ever done that? It was quite daunting…
I’ve been a reader for years, since I was about eight I read everything from Enid Blyton to Stephen King, surely I could write a story, just a little story? The icon pulsed on the blank screen, teasing me.
Tolkien was my first taste of fantasy, which I guess was rather apt considering he was the inventor of the fantasy genre. After Tolkien I devoured books by David Gemmel, Michael J Sullivan, Raymond E. Feist, Robert Jordan and many more… I felt comfortable with fantasy, but how do you write a book?
So I decided to just start with a first line…
The floorboard creaked under the sole of his felt boot – a calculated risk whenever entering a sleeping man’s room uninvited.
Which I thought was pretty cool. It set me up and asked a question, who was this creepy person that had entered some poor person’s room uninvited? So I continued writing, eager to find out who these people were and what was happening.
That’s how I write. I just sit back and watch, following my characters through their ups and downs, usually not knowing what’s really happening until it takes place, not really knowing how it’s even going to end. I don’t use a story plan and I don’t keep to the rules described in those, ‘How to Write’ books…
The title to this first book was decided early on, The Flight of the Griffin, but I didn’t really understand the significance of the title until much further into the book, and neither will you. The main characters are a group of young friends, just a bunch of kids between the ages of about ten and fifteen, who make their home in an old boat, The Griffin. When I got there the significance of the title came as shock to me, even as I was writing it, I hope it will to you too.
I hope you will take the adventure with me, read along with me as we take The Flight of the Griffin. I’ll try not to let you down, just remember that the writer has no idea what’s happening next either, who knows what we might discover together on the way!
About C.M Gray:
Born in England, C.M. Gray spent most of his youth growing up in the Essex countryside. A beautiful part of England, close to the Suffolk border, but he was born with the need to expand his horizons, so as soon as he could get a passport at the age of just seventeen he packed a backpack and went exploring!
A slightly risky decision, and one his parents were not too taken with, yet a number of years later he is still traveling…. but with a slightly larger bag. Over the years, C.M.Gray has been lucky enough to live and travel in many many parts of the world, met some incredible people and experienced some amazing places. In fact, he has now lived for more years outside of England than he ever spent living there – It is, after all, a very big and exciting world!
During his journey he worked and trained as a carpenter and a house restorer… picked more types of fruit over the years than he knew existed – from grapes in France to avocados in Israel. After living in Israel for a year, he was lucky enough to be invited to travel with the Bedouin in the Sanai desert for several months and then moved on travelled around India and then called a Buddhist monastery in the Himalayan Mountains home. A short while later he had changed tact, bought a suit and did a stint as a stock broker in the clamor of central Hong Kong.
To celebrate the millennium he traveled back to Europe, then found and restored an old farmhouse in deep rural Burgundy, France… but then looked to the open road and spent a number of years in Amsterdam… but the winters were cold so he went south again in search of the sun.
Always vowing to return and sink some roots back in English soil… he hasn’t quite got there yet, but maybe someday, it seems there are just too many interesting places out there to see first! He does, however, live a little closer to England now, just outside of Barcelona in Northern Spain, in the middle of the forest with his dogs and two wonderful children, he claims the Pyrenean mountains and forests of northern Spain are a great place to write and let his mind do the traveling.
As you will have noticed, his writing is mostly fantasy and he says that many of his experiences in Asia, India, Africa and the Middle East come to life in his writing. He has seen and done some pretty strange things on his travels, and bumped into some amazing characters, so writing fantasy is almost like writing fact for him… you just wouldn’t believe it if he presented it as fact – there are people and things out there in this world of ours that would simply amaze you!
His latest book is the mystery/thriller The Flight of the Griffin.
To explore his life and writing more, please visit his webpage and blog at https://author-cmgray.blogspot.com
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