My name is Gabriel M. Clarke. There’s another Gabriel Clarke but he’s a) a journalist b) not an aspiring YA fantasy author and c) doesn’t have an ‘M’. The ‘M’ stands for ‘Michael’.
I live in South London in one of those areas where the city threatens to turn into the suburbs but somehow draws back at the last moment. I’ve been with the same partner for a long time. We have a nine year old and a five year old. We had two much loved cats but both are recently deceased. I’m still in mourning.
I’ve got one vampire novel (five drafts in) sitting in the proverbial drawer, about fifteen thousand words of a second that I’ve probably set aside for the moment (kitsune in NY and refugee Scandinavians from South America) and my current, very significant YA fantasy novel – working title Shaper. It began life as something I started making up for dudelet’s bedtime (dudelet is my seven year old, by the way) and kind of muscled its way in and took over.
Here’s a random list of eight children’s writers I idolise in a God-I-Wish-I-Could-Do That sort of way:
- The peerless Diana Wynne Jones, who sadly died recently.
- Joan Aiken, best known for the Wolves of Willoughby Chase sequence
- Ursula Le Guin
- Philip Reeve
- J. K. Rowling (yes, I know, I know. But to leave her out would be a contemptible ‘too cool for school’ move)
- Rosemary Sutcliffe
- Neil Gaiman
- Tove Janssen
I’ve got a small collection of guitars I haven’t picked up for five years and a badly atrophied set of song-writing muscles (use it or lose it). Then there’s the tarot cards and the unused Japanese archery equipment. I also have a day-job I’m quite passionate about but it really doesn’t belong here.
If we are what we do and say, I was a very different person before we had children.
This blog is still part of a recovery plan – an identity recovery plan. I dreamt of being a writer from the moment I realised I could read. When I was five, I was a writer. I want that identity back*.
*Dudelet says I won’t really be a writer till I actually publish something and become an author. But he has every confidence in me.