Chris E. BarrettWhat can I tell you about myself? More importantly, what can I tell you about myself that will make me seem fascinating and irresistible without revealing too much of my dull and dark sides?
To start with, I am the youngest of a large family and am blessed with an auspicious birthday, which I will keep private for now. I was born into a family of voracious readers, and learned to read at a very early age which caused me endless trouble in school. I believe teachers have an easier time when their students in grade one are not accustomed to reading books like Robin Hood and Arabian Nights. Need I tell you how incredibly dull I found poor Dick and Jane?
Somewhere along the way, my imagination, fueled by a good supply of decent reading at home, took wing and I began to create stories in my mind long before I had the ability to write them down. Even now I help myself fall asleep at night with mental working and reworking of scenes from a variety of works in progress.
The year I turned ten, we moved to a big city from the suburbs of a small one, and I discovered public libraries. Lester del Rey, Robert Heinlein and Ray Bradbury quickly became good friends to me, and then I read A Horse and his Boy by C. S. Lewis--one of the Narnia books. Utter joy. To this day I love parallel realities...could you guess?
Finally, around the age of twelve or so, my friend and I tried writing a novel that starred a collection of ceramic horses of mine. All my horses had names, of course, and their own unique personalities. I have no idea what ever happened to that effort, but it was cut short by my moving to Ireland with my mother and two of my siblings.
Big move,that. The furnished house we rented had books I had not read, including a collection of short stories and novellas from the late Sixties. The one that caught me most was one by Anne McCaffrey, one of her earliest Pern works. I was hooked.
We lived in Ireland for a year and a half or thereabouts and I was uprooted once again and returned, protesting, to Canada. I had grown fond of Ireland and my friends there. I had gotten to know a farmer who taught me to ride his horse and would let me do so whenever I wanted, as long as I stayed in his fields. That was fine with me. Unrestricted access to a fat little Irish Cob whenever I felt like riding. Good deal.
Returning to Canada meant moving from Wexford and everything I had become accustomed to there, to Longueuil, Quebec and a school with 2500 students. It was a bit overwhelming at first, I must admit. I was disappointed to learn that the school offered neither Spanish nor Latin, both of which I had enjoyed immensely in Ireland. Still, I had become quite adaptable at that point, and I managed to fit myself into my own little niche.
It was during the years at this enormous school that I met a teacher who became an inspiration and friend. It was he who told me about "Writer's Digest" magazine and encouraged me to explore my abilities. More to come...
The background graphic on this page came from Fantasy Graphics.