I lived in Glasgow until my mid twenties. Growing up in a large city with a centralised population was hugely different from a small city with a localised one, which is exactly where I moved to. I lived in Portsmouth since, a very unique city in its own right.
In the last few years, I have written "Fighting for your Fantasy", a popular blog site for the Fighting Fantasy series of gamebooks. I will post a few entries from this blog here from time to time.
I wrote "Return to 'Return to Oz'" (the short story, not the anthology) in the month leading up to Halloween in 2013.
I knew at the start that it had to feel like a very personal story, because it needed to have a strong sense of nostalgia to it. It's a story about childhood memories and how fallable it is. Things that seem huge and terrifying may not be, and the things that are that vast to an adult's mind may simply be confusing to a child.
I wrote the piece whilst working in a very boring, tedious and thoroughly immoral insurance call center. Customers were sparse to non-existant, and the ones who did call in were invariably as hateful and angry as the fellow employees I had to work with. Pouring my focus into this story got me through a day or two.
I now strive to live a much less stressful life, and hope to one day make a profitable living on my work. We can but dream, eh?