Thursday, June 21, 2012

Life Isn't a Rehearsal

It's a Wicked Thursday today,
Introducing Roger Hurn

Hi, my name is Roger Hurn. I live in London and I'm a full time writer and storyteller. I realized writing was going to be my life on my first day at school. You see, it was just a regular school, not Hogwarts, but my teacher gave me a magic wand and I used that wand to have the most amazing adventures. Only my teacher didn't call it a magic wand - she called it a pencil. It was thanks to her that I set out on this life of storytelling and writing.

I do lots of author visits to schools, and sharing my stories with kids is just the most amazing fun. It seems to me that the human brain is hard-wired to love a good yarn. My evidence for this is, although I’ve gone into some tough schools with challenging kids, I’ve always found that a good story grabs their interest and holds their attention – even on a wet Thursday afternoon! When the students ask me if I like doing what I do I tell them that if they can get someone to pay them for doing the thing they love – which in my case is writing and telling stories for great kids like them - then they will never work a day in their lives. It’s the secret of a happy life. I also tell them that I would still make up stories even if nobody paid me because you don’t choose to be a writer – it chooses you. Though my wife doesn't think it's so great when the Muse comes calling at 3 in the morning and I have to get up and write an idea down.  I know if I don't I'll only have forgotten it come the dawn.  But no matter how quietly I try to sneak out she always wakes up, snaps on the light and acts surprised that it's me standing there and not a burglar! 

Despite the odd nocturnal misunderstanding, my main problem is balancing the time I spend visiting schools with the time I spend writing. I love the buzz of sharing a new story with the kids and getting their feedback, but I also have to meet publisher deadlines. So, if I’m out all day in schools I have to write at night – and my wife and kids aren’t best pleased. On top of this, I play guitar in a rock band and football (soccer) for a local team. So, trying to fit everything in and keep everyone happy isn’t easy. But then, as someone once said, life isn’t a rehearsal.  Of course, the answer to all my problems would be to find a way of never actually sleeping but unless a mad scientist somewhere is busy inventing a "Who Needs Sleep?" machine I don't think that's going to happen.


Roger Hurn is a storyteller and writer of children's books. On a storytelling trip to Nigeria he was made Mallam Oga by the local Hausa people. The title Mallam Oga means "Wise teacher, Big Boss" - or at least that's what they told him!
Roger really enjoys writing stories that are dark and edgy, but that also have a gleam of humour to lighten the darkness. That's why he was delighted when one reader of his novel "Something Wicked This Way Comes" wrote the following review: "... with humour and scares taking turns on the page, this book will keep you thrilled and engaged." He hopes that plenty of other readers will feel the same way about it!
Roger lives in London with his long suffering wife Pam.  He also plays bass guitar in a rock band – much to the despair of music lovers everywhere. 

His latest book: Something Wicked This Way Comes (Amazon Kindle Store) came about when a school asked him to tell their children the story of the Pied Piper. He did, but it struck him that the Piper is one of the most sinister characters in fairy stories. He researched the background to the legend and discovered some evidence that the Piper reappeared in England about one hundred years after he stole the children from Hamelin. This intrigued him and he wondered what happened to the children he stole; why he did it; how was he able to travel through time; and what would happen if he came back today? The only way Roger could exorcise this evil character and was to write the story. The Piper has stopped haunting his imagination now, but you can find him in Something Wicked – if you dare!  

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