who am I?
I once heard someone say that we know we have found our perfect career when work feels more like easy breathing than hard labour. I never set out to make writing a career, but I do get the point about breathing. There’s a moment with every project when the narrator within takes over, the voice is found and the book starts to write itself.
I am a writer who has been working this way since I graduated with an English Literature degree. I have collaborated on many books, edited others and written some of my own. I have edited magazines, written copy for charities, record labels and events. I took a few years off when turning thirty to teach high school English, but I missed the space between the words.
I was born in 1972. Childhood was messy in places, but those are other stories for other times. My late teens/early twenties were spent playing alongside Matt Redman as part of the worship team, editing Soul Survivor magazine and eventually becoming a little cynical about things I didn’t really understand.
It was about the time when the Soul Survivor events grew really big that I felt the need to write something that exposed what I saw as the problems with the Church. It turned out that I was wrong: The Naked Christian was all about my own problems – my narrow view of faith, my weakness, my inconsistency, my arrogance.
That’s when the break happened. I taught English, but could never really stop thinking about the freedom that writing offered. So I spent my early thirties working on my own books as well as writing for Tearfund, an international development agency. The experiences dramatically shaped my faith, as did the rites of birth and bereavement as my family grew at one end and shrunk at the other.
I feel as though I spent my teens trying to get a buzz out of faith (or drugs), my twenties waiting around for someone to give me permission to take faith seriously and my thirties stripping away the nonsense and discovering the power of God’s grace and love for myself.
Being the only child of a single parent, the death of my mother was something I had long feared. Yet, like new growth after a bush fire, grief has given way to new life. These days I’m more convinced than before of how little I know, but more excited than ever about the journey that lies ahead.