I was born at the back of 9 o’clock on a mid-November morning in 1978 – so, yeah, probably a Valentine’s baby. Punk was big at the time but, paradoxically, it was Summer Loving by John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John that was at number one. Summer in November? Seems a bit backwards (even though November does seem to be getting warmer as the years go by). John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John backwards is John Newton & Olivia Travolta-John, which makes the John top ‘n’ tail stick out . . . ay?
Shortly after I was born, the midwife said to my mum: “Dickson Telfer – that sounds like the name of a Prime Minister.” If you’re that midwife, then I’m sorry to announce that I have no desire to run the country as I don’t think lying in bed with America to fight futile wars is a good thing. Also, a lot of politicians are overweight and it’s hard to take them seriously when they talk about the country’s health agenda. I’d be concerned that becoming one (or the PM for that matter) might negatively affect my health. If you do a timeline of David Cameron’s pasty face and/or Alex Salmond’s chin(s), then . . . well . . . fffffff.
I’ve always had an overactive imagination and feel I’ve finally found a use for it. If I’m honest, I’d always fancied being a writer but didn’t feel I was mature enough to write anything decent. Until 2011. Saying that, it’s your judgement as to whether or not my work is decent. You can reach your conclusions by buying a copy of one (or more) of my books. I’ve been told my stuff is ‘original and groundbreaking’, and also ‘drivel’. All part of being a writer.
My books (so far) are slice-of-life short story collections. Alan Bissett describes my debut collection, The Red Man Turns to Green, as “a sawn-off shotgun scattering humour, horror, sugar and grit,” and Gordon Legge considers my follow-up, Refrigerator Cake, to be “as refreshing a collection as you’re likely to come across.”
Both are published by Edinburgh-based indie publisher Fledgling Press, but before I was offered a contract, I self-published a collection called Killing a Spider through now defunct Croftamie-based outfit Positive Publishing. This allowed me to have a product to sell at events and gain some feedback via amazon. Although I would now consider some of the content in Killing a Spider to be a little weak, around half of it was revisited, edited and polished for inclusion in The Red Man Turns to Green, so self-publishing in hard copy certainly played its part in me becoming a published author.
Prior to signing with Fledgling Press, I wrote and performed a one-man play, Secret Weapons, at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2012. Reviews can be seen on the Reviews/Press page. It was originally a short story, re-written as a play and then converted back to a short story for inclusion in Refrigerator Cake.
I’m currently working on my first novel, Black Swimmer, amongst other projects . . . I’m also available for book festivals, workshops and spoken word events – contact details available here.