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Neil

"It was only really during the degree that I started contemplating writing something new, hitting on the idea of a memoir."

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Year graduated 2009

"During my degree I found myself being influenced by those around me, especially Blake Morrisson’s memoir, And When Did You Last See Your Father?, which offered massive clues as to my own writing, and which suddenly changed midway through the degree with the likes of Stephen Knight, Francis Spufford, and the wonderful Maura Dooley all seemingly convinced that I was a ‘life writer’ hiding behind fiction.

I've just published my first book, Four Funerals and a Wedding (Journeys in Creative and Life Writing), on Kindle, and it will be followed by a paperback edition soon. I’d been working on the novel off and on for years, but if I’m honest, I didn’t really have the writing skills to bring it to a suitable end. I was never very ‘literate,’ and had not really read too many books of a classic nature, reading (and re-reading) mostly American crime novels. As such I simply kept writing, never really knowing how to finish, with one book turning into two, and then into a trilogy. It was only really during the degree that I started contemplating writing something new, hitting on the idea of a memoir.

By its very nature the book is extremely personal and reflective, but I’ve since realised that the themes I’ve tackled – love, death, relationships – are universal, especially the parts referring to bereavement and grief, which many people, those that have read parts of the book, have commented offer up similar experiences to their own."

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