You’ve lived a full life that’s packed with observations and adventures, and you shouldn’t exit this Earth without chronicling them in some way.
Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, your life is the laboratory for creating a great book or story.
And that’s how I ended up abseiling 72 metres into Abismo de Anhumas, a cave in the heart of the Brazilian jungle just outside Bonito, home to incredible stalactites which lurk in the depths of the underground lake inside.
Due to the lack of sunlight there is nothing living in the lake, but the sight of the stalactites beneath my snorkel sent my mind reeling about giant eels and monsters.
For my first book, , I wanted to write about characters living in wagons in the woods – people who could ride horses bareback, track wild animals and read the ways of mystical tree spirits.
I knew the Romany gypsy culture was full of colour and magic so I went to meet the last ‘real’ Romany gypsy in England, Pete Ingram, to discover more.Spending time with Pete took my book from being a vague idea about characters in the wild to a fully realised world, one where Romany characters clasp talismans to ward off deadly witch doctors and magic is locked inside ancient bones., my characters are living as outlaws in a secret cave down by the sea and although I’d grown up exploring caves on the northeast coast of Scotland, I wanted to find some bigger, more unusual caverns so that I could create a whole coastline full of smuggler coves and hidden hideouts in my book.That’s where it starts – that’s where I’m in with a chance of re-wilding a generation of children... You have a story to tell, knowledge to impart, and experiences to share.Other days, the eagles didn’t show and we’d just stand in the middle of the moors, surrounded by the stags, the cairns and the mighty lochs, and I remember marvelling at it all, at the sheer wilderness spread out before me.I think the sense of wonder I experienced back then at those remote and almost forgotten places made me want to write wild, outdoor adventures years later – and with that, has come a string of book research trips grounded in the natural world…You’ll learn how to organize ideas, make smooth transitions, and expand your vocabulary.Reading also improves your writing, so if you have the tiniest desire to write well, read a wide variety of books in different genres.If you can talk, you can write — even if you need to brush up on grammar and spelling.You’ll naturally become a better writer the more you write.