My love of books has been with me from an early age. A teacher in my primary school once commented, that I would “take any book off a shelf and read it.” It never mattered what that book was, I just loved to read. Some of my childhood books have survived clear outs, charity donations, sticky fingers and remain with me to this day. Those are the books with “This book belongs to Grace McGowan” scrawled inside the front cover. 🤦🏼♀️ Nowadays, I treat my books like the works of art they are.
I’d always harboured ambitions to be an actress, but school bullies knocked my confidence, and I had to change classes; leaving school at 16 with just two GCSE’s in English and Spanish. I eschewed the notion of going to college as I couldn’t face the possibility of it happening again, so I went to work instead. I soon realised, bullying happens in the workplace too. My dreams remained on hold.
I started writing on and off from a young age but lacked the discipline and tenacity to finish a story. I didn’t know about planning a book, character development, protagonists, antagonists, show not tell etc. I never gave any consideration to researching the art of writing itself (what teenager does?) I assumed it came as naturally as breathing. I would plagiarise stories I’d read and loved (The Wolves of Willoughby Chase), but they ended up in the bin (rightly so!)
In 2005, I relocated to London where I spent ten years enjoying London life, forgetting about writing and AmDram. I forged friendships, organised social events and carved out a life for myself. I had a good ten years in the capital and some of the best times of my life.
All good things come to an end though.
As much as I had loved living in London, the pace of life and cost of living had taken its toll. I was tired, disillusioned, and fed up. I relocated offices, packed up and moved, lock, stock and barrel to the beautiful county of Lincolnshire. I returned to AmDram and have performed in a few shows, which have done wonders for my confidence. There’s nothing like the feeling of walking out onto the stage for the first time. It’s like coming home.
In 2012, the story that has lived in my head since my twenties began to nudge at me, and I decided, it was time. If I was going to pursue writing as a viable career, I needed to knuckle down and do it properly. I researched, read lots of articles, subscribed to writing magazines, and read more books than ever before. I set up this blog to exercise my writing muscles, and showcase short stories.
My other interests are rock music, gaming, and since going vegan in 2017, I’ve become a proper foodie with a love of cooking, and trying new things.