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Mjke Wood

Dead Man's Shoes, fiction, Issue 18, March 1, 2012

Mjke Wood was a winner of Writers of the Future in 2008, and won first place in the Jim Baen Memorial Contest in 2007. His work has also appeared in The Best of Jim Baen’s Universe II, Murky Depths, Jupiter, Short-Story.Me and on the podcast, StarShipSofa.  Mjke plays jazz saxophone in a Big Band and by day works as a Management Accountant. He lives in the UK with his wife, Sarah, a botanical artist.

Get to know Mjke...

Birthdate? 10th September 1956

When did you start writing? It was around 1980. I started writing a letter to a local rag, ranting about a bad day's commute. The letter got longer, the exaggerations became wilder and most of the reality evaporated.The letter was published. I realized I enjoyed doing this writing thing.

When and what and where did you first get published? I had a few none fiction humour pieces published in a UK camping magazine through the early 90's, but my first actual story appeared on BBC Radio North, in 1997. It was a fantasy story called 'Drawing Daphne'. It was professionally narrated and I was very proud of the result. 

What themes do you like to write about? I'll go with anything that catches my interest. Music is often present, either in the background or front and centre; and I guess I do have a thing about consciousness and the frailty of memory. This is a theme that seems to pop up quite regularly in my stories.

What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? Phew, how much space do I have here? Okay - A Fall of Moondust, by Arthur C Clarke. I was 12 when I read it. I was totally swept away. A year later Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon and I felt that it was a place I'd already visited.I read pretty much everything Arthur C Clarke ever wrote after that. And I have to mention Stephen King. He is one of those writers who will always make me want to write. I want to be able to perform that magic trick of his, the one where the reader gets so sucked in to that other world that he/she cannot help but miss their bus or train stop. I'd like people to blame me for a long walk home in the rain, some day.

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