Martin B Munroe 2018.
My passion for writing comes from primarily my father. An immigrant from Guyana who arrived in the UK in the 1960’s, he believed in the power of books. A favourite saying of his was, ‘Make the book your best friend’.
I’ve been writing since childhood, and now my two genres are literary fiction and science fiction. It’s always been something I’ve had to do and writing for publishing was never at the forefront for me. This was due to my background; becoming a full time writer was something only the middle classes did. My heroes and heroines of literature include Margaret Atwood and James Baldwin, amongst others. Childhood favourites were Nicholas Fisk and comic books such 2000 AD which gave me a lifelong love of scifi.
After University, with mounting debt, I drifted into a career working in the City. I continued to write, working on the craft and producing a few novels and short stories, not meant for reading by any audience. This continued for over a decade, until 2008. I left Lehman Brothers, seeing the general economic milieu as an opportunity to follow a dream. I enrolled at the UCLA Writers Program in California and spent two terms learning the fundamentals of storytelling with working screenwriters.
In 2013 I read about Amazon Kindle Singles as a possible route to publish one of my collection of short stories. I was shocked when Amazon called and were interested in e-publishing my work. With the force of Amazon behind me, my short ‘The Last Black Man’ was published, briefly holding the number one spot in Kindle Literary Fiction Short Chart.
After a few more experimental novels, I started the Faber Academy Novel writing 6 month course to concentrate on one novel I was working on. Under the guidance of Sarah May, I graduated in June 2017.
In September 2017 I took up an unconditional offer of a MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London. The full time course with its excellent teaching, I hope, will continue to hone my skills in this lifetime journey of writing fiction.
I graduated in the Autumn 2018 with a Distinction and have recently been awarded full funding from the Arts Humanities Research Council for a PhD project at University of East Anglia, starting in October 2020.