I began my journey focused on a career as a Physicist and achieved this goal earlier than expected, leaving school and working in the Laser Spectroscopy Laboratory of BP's Research Centre. Travelling in Africa for the remainder of my Gap Year, I saw Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat, stayed with a group of Pygmies in the jungles of Zaire, climbed a Volcano, fell in love, contracted Malaria and crossed the continent from East to West Coasts in an ex-army Bedford lorry.
I had a place at The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) to read Astro-Physics. Always fascinated by Space Exploration, I might have been designing and building satellites and probes or analysing data from potentially habitable exo-planets. My dream as a boy was to become an Astronaut...
Instead, a year studying Natural Sciences at Selwyn College, The University of Cambridge, was sufficient for me and I made the first big decision of my life to change course to read Philosopy. It was a good move and I began walking down a new road. I studied the three year course in two years and earned a 2:2 MA. This part of my life is explored in the autobiographical book PILOT OF DREAMS.
My interests led me to work in the television industry, which inspired the very fictional novella BUBBLEVISION, but I felt the urge to travel again. Heading away from work and responsibilities. I was travelling for just under a year to Hong Kong, Mainland China, New Zealand, Belize, Guatemala, California, Canada and New York.
Almost immediately after returning to the UK, I left again, but this time for The Vancouver Film School on Canada's Pacific North West Coast. Twenty-Four years young and full of life, I enjoyed this richly creative environment but arriving back in England I began a downward spiral and suffered a major physical and mental breakdown.
I was hospitalised many times, over a three year period, in some fairly heaviy psychiatric units. Having not allowed myself to rest in any meaningful way since leaving school I was profoundly exhausted and broken in many complex ways. Recovery from mental illness was slow, I went through a process of Psychoanalysis for a further three years and with great help from the NHS and my family, I managed to get back on my feet. I was at this time Thirty-Two years if age with some very dark years thankfully behind me, but my excesses and blind ambition had changed my life for good.
It was at this point I began writing seriously both as a therapy and escapism, I wrote an autobiographical screenplay called REEL TO REAL about my time in Canada, thinking it apt to write in the format in which I was trained as a Writer and Director. Ten years ago I began writing with a more serious attitude, for more than myself, and with a particular reader in mind. I wrote a science fiction novel entitled EXO:LIFE.
With family in the USA I decided to tackle something international next and wrote the political thriller, THE HOUDINI HIJACKING. With this novel I broke free of some self-imposed restaints on my writing style and explored a new genre. My latest feature length film screenplay STATE OF THE HEART, is a fun but in-depth and original take on the Romantic Comed genre, about a person I might once have been.
Writing is liberating. Approaching stories with the benefit of a hugely diverse personal experience, it is a conduit to explore the imagination, and interweave this with perceived truths and realities of life. Now my wish is to share these stories, to provide entertainment and perhaps give my own subjective personal insight into the human condition. Success is the release from mental chains.
ALONE AMONG EQUALS is a real step up for me, so much so that I believe in its character, content and style with an elevated confidence to launch it into what is a very competitive market. I'd like to see it on a bookshelf in shop, I'd like for it to sell many copies in all sorts of formats in many different languages, and I'd like for many people to enjoy it on the many levels it has been designed.
© Brett Walpole 2021