Let me first confess something to you, I’m vain and like talking about myself. Usually I’m surrounded by people who only want to speak about themselves. I call them selfish and myself; misunderstood.
I will not bore you with my likes and dislikes, there are far more interesting people out there where you can measure your own against theirs. Instead, I will give you an example of what influenced my life. Just past my seventeenth birthday my Father died suddenly leaving me, his only child, and my Mother, who was verging on blindness. I was studying to be a Chartered Accountant, having changed my aspirations, from becoming a Helicopter pilot, on getting my ‘O’ level results from Shooters Hill Grammar School. I was a disappointment to both parents, having concentrated more on becoming a competent cricketer and the best open side wing forward never to play rugby for England than on my academic studies. Anyway, there I was on my way to the office when, without rhyme nor reason, I signed up to become a Police Cadet.
At the age of nineteen I was an up and running Police Constable, and here comes the thing. One day, whilst on duty, I found an eight year old boy who had been reported as missing from his home. Dutifully I returned him there to be greeted by a thankful Mother and a contemptuous Father sitting next to a roaring fire, stoking it with a steel poker.
When I saw the fear in his sons’ eyes I knew immediately what had caused the inch wide festering wound on the boys face. I’ll let you imagine what injuries I wanted to inflict on that man, but I didn’t; and I’ve been ashamed of myself ever since.
I had a short career in the ‘Job,’ but no less eventful. I was the first to arrive at three deaths. One a sudden natural death, one a very ‘bloody’ suicide and one, where a jealous soldier shot his wife full in the face with both barrels of a 12 bore shotgun. All three were horrific and disturbing, but nothing has haunted me as much as that eight year old wounded child. I wonder if he ever lived long enough to extract revenge on his Father. I guess, in the age that we all live, I shouldn’t say that, should I?
Why I started to write.
I was at work ( I am a London Licensed Taxi Driver) one sunny November day in 2006, minding my own business stopped at a red traffic light when a van, driven incompetently, smashed into me. I was taken to Hospital and kept in for while, but it was not only physical injuries that I suffered from; it was mental.
I had lost all confidence in myself, let alone those around me. The experts said that I had post traumatic stress disorder, which I thought only the military or emergency personnel suffered from. On good days, I attempted to go to work, sometimes I even made it through Blackwell Tunnel only to hear, or see, something that made me jump out of my skin, and the anxiety attacks would start.
I told my wife that I was okay and going regularly but I wasn’t, I could not cope with life and thought about ending it.
Somehow or other with the help from my dear wife, and professionals, I managed to survive and ever so slowly, rebuilt my self-esteem.
It took almost four years to fully recover and become what I am now, somewhere close to what I was before that day, but it was during those dark depressive days that I began to write.
My very first story, Look Both Ways, Then Look Behind, found a literary agent but not a publisher. He told me that I had a talent, raw, but nevertheless it was there. After telling me to write another story, he said that there were two choices open to me: One, wait for a traditional deal. At sixty-two, with no literary profile or experience; little hope. Two, self-publish through New Generation Publishing.
This, I’m delighted to say, I did.
The success of my story, The Desolate Garden, is down to my sheer hard work, luck in meeting a film producer and the uncompromising stance taken by Daniel Cooke my publisher, who never ‘massages my inflated ego,’ as he so often puts it!
From my Amazon Profile Page.
Once arrested for attempted murder in England, Danny Kemp decided that a career in writing was for him. No different than Nicholas Sparks, Mr. Kemp’s first novel The Desolate Garden was picked up in a snap, and is currently being rendered into a movie. Outside the field of “run-ins with the law, Kemp draws on decades of experience, encompassing the Metropolitan Police, the tenancy of three English Public Houses, and the Licensed Taxi Trade in London, as well as being a radio voice-over artist in several radio plays, where he honed his sense of story and pacing.
(I was not found guilty…LOL)
Links To The Desolate Garden.
I wrote this poem a long time after, but as a direct result of the accident I detailed above. The dazzling light is what I saw just after the van hit me.
When It Comes.
I saw the face of death once, in the centre of a dazzling light.
“I know your name” it said. “ But I will not ask for it tonight.
No need to worry my friend, your time has not come around.
When it does, I will come silently. I will not make a sound.
There is no need to fear me, as you cannot escape my name.
You were born, you lived, it’s not me, but life that you must blame!”
I have now published a short story on Kindle, called Seventeen. It tells the story of how a botched jewellery robbery in London’s Bond Street, on Christmas Eve 1990 impacts on many lives.
Links to Seventeen.
I have almost completed a Novella which I hope to be published before Christmas, and my publisher has an anthology of mine, with short stories and poems, ready to publish in the next month or two.
When the filming of The Desolate Garden starts, and I get paid, I will have time to complete my major work in hand. This will be my second published full book. It tells the story of the death of a teenage girl and how it effects the central character of my story, Mitzy Collins. That will be title of the novel.