Ask any writer what their most difficult piece of writing is – the one they put off for days – and the answer is always the same. This page.
Writing about yourself is hard. But it has to be done, so here goes…
I spent a large chunk of my working life in the financial services industry. Nice suits, plenty of clients and 14 stripy ties. But I always had a small voice inside me: “Let me out,” it said. “I’m a writer.”
Occasionally I did let the small voice out. I had a mid-life crisis and did some stand-up comedy in my spare time and, in the spring of 2003, I started writing a humorous weekly newspaper column about family life – which I’m still writing today.
But I didn’t start writing full-time until 2010. My brother, Mike, had died of cancer in October 2009 and it was one of those pivotal moments in life. I either did the thing I really wanted to do or I forgot about it for good.
So I sold my business, sent my stripy ties to the charity shop and started writing. I built a new business as a freelance copywriter, working with clients up and down the UK and across Europe, and I also published my first book: Father, Son and the Pennine Way. (Can’t quite believe how young I look on the cover…)
But the small voice was still there. “You need to write a novel,” it whispered…
“I don’t have time,” I whispered back.
And then lockdown happened. March 2020: suddenly I was working from home and – more importantly – I immediately lost two clients.
The small voice had its way. I started to write Salt in the Wounds – and published it six months later.
Eighteen months on from writing that first line there are three full-length Michael Brady books and two short reads/novellas. By the end of 2022 my plan is to double that: six full-length books and four novellas.
Brady – and the consequent research trips to Whitby and the surrounding area – has taken over my life. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love writing the books: I love the fact that readers get so much pleasure from them.
And I’ve just started making notes for the fourth full-length book. I’m aiming to publish it at the end of February next year. Best get cracking…