Snapshot in time: A ten year old with no life experience. Three Big Books under my have-read belt. An old Tandy computer and a dot-matrix printer. (Guess I shouldn’t complain…I’ve never had to bang anything out on a typewriter).
Getting back to writing a sequel for Terry Brooks. I did get up to about fifty pages—fifty horrifyingly bad pages. If manuscripts were self-aware, this one would have thrown itself in front of a bus so it wouldn’t have to look at itself in the mirror each morning. It was full of clichés because, back then, I wasn’t exactly sure what a cliché was. Ninety percent telling, ten percent showing. Descriptions that didn’t even make sense. Zero-dimensional characters. Plot about as interesting as a Styrofoam cup baking in the sun.
Over the next nine years—five spent in high school (I didn’t fail…at that time the government of Ontario mandated grade nine to thirteen), and four more in university—the writing went on the backburner. Snubbed by parties, girls, stuff I shouldn’t mention. Actually, I should say novel writing, because I still did write the occasional short story. I never tried to sell any of them to magazines and the like. It was just something I did now and then. When I had a good idea and wanted to get it down on paper—where, funny enough, it no longer seemed like such a good idea.
It might sound as if the writing bug was dead inside me. But I did end up choosing English literature as my major in university, so perhaps it wasn’t dead but just hibernating. Then again, maybe I just didn’t know what else to take.
After graduating university, I ended up in a marketing job. I had never taken a marketing course before in my life. But my university roommate’s father ran a large company, and he was kind enough to give me a job where no job was needed. I don’t know what my exact title was. I probably didn’t even have a title. Needless to say, I had a lot of free time on my hands. So I got down to writing again. I started a manuscript.
And this time I finished it.
Tomorrow: Jeremy Bates Day 3: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD
Jeremy Bates has spent the last ten years traveling the world, visiting more than thirty countries. He has lived in Canada, the United States, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines. Bates is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario with a degree in English literature and philosophy and is a teacher in international schools. Where’s home for Jeremy? Canada, the United States, and Australia.