Hi, I’m Graham, the author of the stories on Storygram.
I was brought up being bribed into reading books through my mum’s original Summer Reading Game(TM), pretty much the best – possibly only – way to get a 14-year-old boy to shut up and read War and Peace whilst on holiday. At the end of each book, we were asked a series of questions, just to make sure we were actually concentrating. Each novel had points assigned to it, based on length, complexity, and possibly – though unconfirmed – how much mum wanted us to read them.
I believe this experience was formative in shaping my love for good stories.
Growing up my favourite novels were ‘The Hobbit’, the Narnia series, Terry Pratchett’s Nome Trilogy, and Jules Feiffer’s ‘The Phantom Tollbooth’. These books portrayed fantasy worlds often similar – but different – to our own that I would collapse into. I can still remember the wonder I felt as I read these stories! As I grew older, my interests broadened a little into fast paced books by Clancy, Crichton, Grisham and others whose technical page-turners managed to keep even my teenage mind occupied.
But much like re-reading Shakespeare after school before any of it made sense, in later life I have begun to enjoy the richness of literature – Hardy, Dickens and others – writers whose talents extend beyond storytelling into an ethereal poetic exposition of even the simplest things. These authors craft their writing so beautifully and elegantly that you can often take a sentence or paragraph out of context and it stands alone, proud and unconcerned of what its own history or future might be.
I read books much like I watch films, over and over again. This drives my wife crazy. I understand the argument that there are too many great books in the world to ever re-read, but my favourites are like paying a visit to an old friend; I have often changed between visits, which allows me to read in a new light.
Writing itself has been a steady journey for me. My Myers Briggs once stated that I ‘always have an idea for a novel’, which is true, though I never seemed to be able to proceed beyond the first chapter. A combination of technology and understanding myself better means that I have begun to develop a writing process that helps me to write longer form stories which until recently eluded me. Living in central London and being surrounded by creative overachievers has kindled the fire in me to become an author, and I’m finally writing work that I’m happy to put out in front of the world to read, to gain feedback and to hone my craft.
Thank you for taking the time to read on Storygram. You can see all the stories available here.
P.S. For my non-fiction writing please see blog.grahamo.com