Mike Hodgkins - Fiction
Becoming a writer was never on my radar, it happened quite by accident. I had journeyed through life blissfully unaware that I had the ability to string words into sentences that would be seen as interesting to read.
I was born and brought up in Rotherham amongst a large family who mainly comprised coal miners and steel workers. We lived a happy life with Mum and Dad and my four sisters all together in my grandparents house, a two bedroom terraced house, a place full of humour and hard work. My younger life was very much influenced by my parents, my mum a four foot eleven inch ball of fire and my Dad, a 6 foot southerner born in Watford, a man who lived for 60 years in South Yorkshire but stubbornly refused to lose his southern accent. He was a gentle man who loved books, I believe that is where my love of books came from.
There were two things which brought about my writing first was my daughter, Catherine, who despite having been born on a fire station wanted to know more about my life as a fire fighter, the second was whilst working as a guide at Chatsworth house, a communication expert was employed to teach us communication skills. It was an interesting day. We were asked to sit opposite a colleague and invent a story, talk for a minute then your colleague should take over and continue using his imagination, so it was a talking and listening exercise. I began and after a minute my colleague said keep going, which I did, for the duration of the exercise. The tutor said he thought I had a talent and should exploit it. So I began writing, not intending or expecting it to become a book. To my surprise I loved doing it and at every opportunity I would do more until the story was done.
Thus far have written about subjects that I am familiar with and maybe an expert on, namely the Fire Service and the Peak District. My trilogy, namely ‘Better red Than Dead, Jakes Tale and The Last Gasp, use my knowledge of these subjects to bring to life the sort of things which occur in the life of fire fighters and lives of the people who live and work in the Peaks.
My books come from deep within me and are an expression of me and my thoughts, the danger excitement and camaraderie in a fire fighters life, and my love of the Peaks, the Rangers and Mountain Rescue volunteers who give their time and expertise to help others, often in difficult circumstances. I also delve into the personal lives of the characters, their hopes, worries and their loves and fears. Further to that I have written a fictional account of the lives of some of the guides at Chatsworth house, and running alongside that the life of the 6th duke of Devonshire. A very mild attempt at a story with an unusual slant to it. I also found that I had some ability to write poetry, which came as quite a surprise to me.
My time now is largely devoted to spending time with Carol my wife, walking in the Peaks and giving accounts of my life to a wide variety of organisations in the surrounding areas of my home. I hope, that should you find yourself reading my writings, that you find them interesting. Mike Hodgkins (Author)