I have five books published, for older teenagers and adults. There's lots of stuff about my writing, and about writing in general, on my website.
I haven't always been a writer. I did seventeen years as a civil servant, government international analyst and diplomat before giving it up for a writing career. But even while I was a full time office worker I was still writing at evenings and weekends. I like doing it. I like talking about it. And I'm looking forward to hearing more about your reading and writing - whenever you're ready!
Did you know my Dad is a writer too?
John's Writing tips
I've been writing for a while now - well, ever since I learned to do it really. And there are a lot of things that are quite hard. Most of these are to do with confidence. If you feel good about what you're writing, you will write it better. If you don't, you won't dare to try.
The best advice I've ever seen about writing comes from the American journalist Bill Stout. He said: "Whether or not you write well, write bravely". He was right.
The thing I find hardest is Starting. Every morning I open the blinds in the office, power up the screen, and then I go through to the kitchen and make coffee and tell myself what a great writer I'm going to be once I get started. I can keep telling myself this for up to half an hour.
One thing I learned in the career before this one is the five-minute rule. If there's something you really shy away from doing (a piece of homework , say), then sit yourself down at it and tell yourself that you're going to do it for JUST FIVE MINUTES. If after five minutes you are still struggling, then stop. You are allowed to. Nine times out of ten you won't be. It was just starting that was the hard bit. Because of the confidence thing. Now those five minutes are gone and you've found your flow.
The next hardest bit is stopping!