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 ten year old and a six year old. We had two much loved cats. At an advanced age, one vanished one night and the other simply pined away. We mourned, we grew, we discovered a gap in the house and space in our hearts and another cat moved in with us.
My current work-in-progress is yet another fantasy novel. There are teeth, betrayals, sorcery that bubbles out of the sea like natural gas and too-few fingers.
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.
I used to say that this blog was part of a recovery plan – an identity recovery plan and how I dreamt of being a writer from the moment I realised I could read. I still do but I’m confident that being a writer is an identity one claims through doing, not wishing. And I’ve been ‘doing’ for a while.*
*Dudelet, the ten year old, says I won’t really be a writer till I actually publish something and become an author. But he has every confidence in me.