I've never liked doing as I am told, and yet somehow I managed to conform long enough to become boring and dissatisfied with what I was doing. In what some might call a mid-life crisis (but I think was simply waking up and exclaiming 'Doh') I resigned a 21-year career - I was going to live a creative life if it killed me. Determined not to lose my freedom by conforming again, I dumped everything but three bags. I no longer had a car, a home or regular bills. I did have a good credit rating, an abundance of common sense that I had to trample on and a tiny income that would put me on the poor list if I cared to apply. I also had a love for the hills, a good education, an interest in science and technology and a bloody-mindedness that could have choked a salmon climbing the falls at Niagara .
Once an unpaid volunteer in the mountain rescue service, I am now well past my sell-by date. But, for a few years at least, I was certain that I could survive in the wilds - in touch with the world and productive through modern technology. In the depth of winter, I travelled - sometimes abroad, sometimes at home - staying with friends and family, house-sitting or renting inexpensive apartments.
And so, one novel followed another as I honed my skills and began to work on an idea that would grow to become Dreamwords. I was in this for the stretch. I loved it, lived it, walked with my characters, lived in their heads and breathed the same air.
I was free to choose, free to fall on my face or land on my feet.
Such freedom has benefits and challenges and that includes the freedom to risk my life on an idea. I am often accused by friends and family of being too trusting, as though defaulting to the positive in others is a flaw. But I have been scammed and hurt and kicked just like you, so it cannot be naivety built on the privilege of luck. Most of us are locked to a bunkered mindset, trained by modern life and other people's agendas to toe the line in case something bad happens - to keep the world at bay so that you can die unhurt.
It comes down to numbers. It only takes one person to ruin your life even if I am right to believe that most people are good. This is why The Honesty Edition is designed to work if only most people are honest. That is what I believe and that is what I'm staking my life on. I guess, in many ways, for better or worse, that is who I am.