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Bewildering Stories

John Craggs

Bewildering Stories biography

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I’m an English writer quite well known in various parts of the web as ‘Gyppo’ through my fortnightly humour newsletter ‘The Monday Silly Digest’. I live in the UK — mostly in Hampshire now but do wander a little — and often spend far too much time in front of my computer. I am single with two daughters and numerous projects to attend to. My private lives are ... Well, private. All of them.

I’ve been writing ever since I learned how and by all accounts was an accomplished little Storyteller almost since I could speak. Professionally I have been writing for a bit more than thirty years, selling far far less than I ‘ought to’ if I was ‘properly motivated’, and probably somewhat less than I deserve.

My more substantial output consists of several novels of which one has sold so far. ‘Running Scared’, published by Robert Hale in the last century (1978), is destined to be re-released as an E-book some time soon.

An E-book about my time as a wandering Showman and Warrior ‘A Hamper Of Havoc’ is available from Virtual Vardo and there are several snippets on the site as free samples.

I’ve twice had a regular column, one in a British motorcycle magazine, one about writing matters in a computer magazine.

Apart from this there have been numerous short stories, articles, fillers, and even some purely mercenary ‘reader’s letters’ churned out at so much per thousand words to pay for my girl’s shoes etc.

I now use a ‘no name but constantly evolving’ computer, but started out with a portable typewriter many years ago. Although rarely caught without a pen and pad I’ve been known — in extremis — to write on stolen toilet paper using an eyebrow pencil — borrowed I hastens to add ;-) — in a tent somewhere along the wind and rain swept Cornish coast.

For a suitable fee I also perform as a ‘Live’ Storyteller’ in Infant and Junior schools, which is really guaranteed to get the children’s imaginations working. Thoroughly enjoyed by imaginative teachers but sometimes a nightmare for the more timid or the truly hidebound. Two hundred children simultaneously waving one hand around their head and making helicopter noises in response to a prompt can look like a dangerous breakdown in discipline ;-)

I have vague dreams of well-paid obscurity, but — like most ‘performers’ — I’m willing to make numerous public appearances en route to this ultimate destination. The truth is I love the quiet times spent in the eternal triangle with Muse and Processor, but I’m equally in love with the barely-controlled adrenaline rush of a live storytelling session.

My motorbike and sidecar can sometimes be spotted in the most unusual places, semi-camouflaged, possibly with a hammock slung between handlebars and any convenient tree or other solid object.

Copyright © 2007 by John Craggs

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