I’ve wanted to be a published author since I was eight years old. I still remember my doing first piece of creative writing homework in year 3 at junior school. I can’t remember what I wrote about, but I do recall my teacher taking me to one side to commend me on my work. It was a far cry from the prognosis of my paediatrician when I was diagnosed with Autism at age 4 who said I wouldn't be able to write or read. What my teacher said helped spark a lifelong wish to become a published author. As it happens, I somewhat come from a family of creative writers with my mother and maternal great grandmother being poets so perhaps it just runs in my blood. It’s been 25 years since that homework changed my life. I don’t just write stories; I have written articles about various topics including cosplay, film, and television. I have written for a few different websites including this very site.
How did I end up publishing To Love at Comic Con?
To Love at Comic Con is about a trio of friends - Sean, Polly, and Jamie - who go through their own romantic journeys. Sean is in an unhappy monogamous relationship with his long-term girlfriend, Polly has just come out of an unfulfilling short-term fling and Jamie is obsessed with two things: a famous cosplayer and the ideal perfect relationship. Their romantic journeys are spread across three different comic conventions they attend together. Will their friendships survive their individual turbulence, or will they fall apart? This story is for an +18 audience as it contains adult scenes of a sexual nature.
I started writing this story a decade ago. I was 23 and very new to the comic con scene. I’d only just gotten into cosplay not long after borrowing someone else’s costume for my best friend’s Doctor Who themed birthday outing to Warwick castle. It didn’t take long for me to attend my first comic con in Birmingham. I started to witness love stories begin, end and be at various stages in between. It didn’t matter where in the country I was or what events I went to: a love story was always in progress in some form. The stories that would end up in the book took years to emerge with various breaks due to life reasons or extensive writer’s block. Some plot details changed, and I transferred the story from a film script to a novel, but the original plot remained largely the same throughout time. My characters grew and came to be in their own time.
Another motivating reason to write this book was representation. I wanted my characters to represent the sort of people I have in my life. The three main characters have three different gender identities: Sean is a cis man; Polly is a cis woman and Jamie is non-binary. The supporting characters include two gay men, a bisexual man, a pansexual disabled woman, and a trans woman. I didn’t write them into the story to tokenize them, far from it. I chose to write from what I know to be true within the cosplay community. There is a definite presence of LGBTQ+ cosplayers that I felt deserved proper representation because representation matters. I grew up with LGBTQ+ and disabled people being punchlines to bigoted jokes. That was something that made my own journey to accepting myself far more difficult than it needed to be. I feel that with positive representation, something positive can come from it.
What’s next in store for me as a writer? I am working on my next book called ‘Her Heart Wants More’. I continue to write articles with the lovely folks at the Daily Cosplaynet and I will forever seek out more of life’s adventures where I can.