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As the grandson of a leading art critic and war poet I never got to meet, and the nephew of a novelist and non-fiction writer, writing for a living always seemed an accessible option growing up. Under the circumstances, no one could reasonably tell me otherwise. That isn't necessarily a good thing. Writing is hard, and making a living from it is even harder. More than once I've received feedback from agents and publishers along the lines of: '`Wow, this is great. Fantastically written, exciting, fascinating, marvellous... but not what's selling.' All but the most successful writers have, and we'll all tell you that it's a tough career choice. But the process itself is immensely rewarding and I've been doing it pretty much non-stop since the age of eight, when I penned The Three Monkeys, an epic adventure of cliff hangers and non sequiturs spanning four exercise books. My love for adventure stories has not died. My tendency to make protagonists fall asleep whenever I run out of ideas has, largely speaking anyway.

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