5 things that you may or may not know about me:
- I have a weakness for bound paper of two forms in particular. I cannot walk by a shelf of notebooks in a shop without having a good hard look and probably buying something. I'm incredibly picky about them, though. (A question: you prefer a certain kind of notebook, one that is quite hard to find in shops in the UK. You discover a high street stationer in Belfast selling them for around half the cost of your usual source. Do you A. buy one, B. buy two, or C. buy two, then go back a few days later and buy the dozen on the shelf and plan a return trip soon to see if they've put more out? They'll all get used, don't worry...) Otherwise, I'm a sucker for Bibles of all shapes and sizes.
- Even though I prefer to have my hair quite short (a number three all over), I generally only have it cut every three-and-a-half to four months. The only reason I make it that often is that my wife does it for me. (Cue funny story about the clippers dying half-way across my head when we were about to go out somewhere.) Part of the reason is that I find getting my hair cut to be an exceedingly uncomfortable experience, sitting there while someone works so closely around my head for so long.
- Our video and DVD collection contains a disproportionate number of what might be called 'chick flicks'. People tend to assume they are my wife's, but in most cases they are wrong. I find both Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock to be quite watchable, even in the same film. How's that for an admission of guilt?
- I sort-of fulfilled an ambition recently when a national Christian youth organisation contracted me as one of their writers of curriculum material. In a slightly-different-than-intended way, I guess I'm a published writer. Like I said, sort of!
- When I was 10, I borrowed a collection of horror short stories from the class library. I only read the first one because it freaked me out so badly. For weeks I wouldn't go out into the back garden to feed the rabbits unless a parent stood at the back door and talked to me. I recently stopped reading a novel after 50-odd pages because I know it would also freak me out. Those are two of perhaps five books in my life I have started reading and not finished for various reasons. Totally unconnected, I now contend that the short story is a wonderful form that really should be published more often and more visibly, and so read by many more people. Ask me and I'll point you towards an exemplary collection or two in the genre of your choice.