I have always enjoyed writing and featured heavily in the junior school magazine with poems and stories. My writing in those days was heavily influenced by Enid Blyton’s Famous Fives – full of caves, treasure and big brothers.
My first novel was written when I was fourteen, this time largely based on Errol Flynn films, complete with galleons and dashing pirates. I still have the original typescript in a box. It was about that time that I decided I wanted to be published as Morton Gray.
Writing became more serious after a short story competition win and I studied for and completed a Certificate in Higher Education in Creative Writing with the Open College of the Arts. This course covered fiction, poems, plays and autobiographical writing.
I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) New Writers’ Scheme (NWS) in 2012 and have found a yearly critique of my work invaluable. I have learned so much about what I do well and what aspects of writing I need to develop. I take part each year in NaNoWriMo – a challenge to write 50,000 words in November and this has resulted in four first draft manuscripts. I have just submitted my 2014 NWS novel, a contemporary romantic novel. I also write historical, timeslip and romantic suspense.
The RNA annual conference is fantastic for networking and useful workshops. I spent one day at the 2011 Carleon conference and was hooked. I've been to three full conferences – Penrith 2012, Sheffield 2013 and Telford 2014.
Up until now, I have been concentrating on honing my writing craft, but now feel I am ready to start submitting to publishers. Wish me luck for 2014!
My blog can be found at http://mortongray.blogspot.com
I use Twitter as @MSGray53 and Facebook as Morton Gray