Only 500 more words until chocolate …

I’m a British Science Fiction writer, author of a number of short stories and of the ‘Hidden Empire’ series of novels.

I was born to middle-class parents in middle-England, but I’ve always been a bit odd. Growing up in a house with no books, I relied on a combination of imagination and television to get my fix of strange stories, rejecting girls’ comics in favour of Dr Who novels, and refusing to go to Brownies because it clashed with Star Trek.

I wrote my first ‘novel’ at seven, typing it on my father’s typewriter and illustrating it in felt tip pen. It wasn’t SF, but it did feature characters having an improbably difficult time. Aged nine I found a copy of A Wizard of Earthsea in a gift shop, and discovered the world of fantastical literature. When, aged eleven, I realised I really wasn’t going to be a ballerina, I decided to be a writer of unlikely stories instead.

As is often the case, this proved easier said than done. I’ve let myself get distracted by the irritating need to earn a living and other, less arduous, paths to fulfilment. Over the years I have supported my writing habit through various means, including life modelling, running a charity shop and computer consultancy; this latter has given me a distrust of technology rare in an SF writer.

I met and married the love of my life at college. We remain stubbornly in love and have forgone having children in favour of not growing up ourselves. Though everything in the world is secondary to stories and love, other things that ease the trials of everyday life for me include: wild, green places; dancing like nobody’s watching; serious chocolate; fortean phenomena; living like a medieval peasant on summer weekends; friendship; Portmeirion; live music and good books.

I frequently resort to self-bribery whilst writing first drafts.

Photo of Jaine Fenn

Photo credit: James Cooke

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