My literary Journey

I didn’t grow up on a farm but my father’s family were farmers including my paternal Grandparents. I spent my early days playing in the fields and barns with my cousins. I’m fortunate enough to have met a partner who has a similar background, lifestyle and sexuality. He too, grew up on an arable farm and enjoyed cultivating the land so we have a lot in common. I enjoy living rural and village life suits me well, it’s wonderful to walk out of the front door and into open fields.

I’m an only child, but wouldn’t describe myself as a loner, although I’m quite independent, and I guess that’s how I came to spend a lot of time using my imagination and pouring it into words. For my 6th birthday I decided that all the friends at my party would perform a play that I’d written – in about six lines. Of course, this didn’t go well and all the kids raided my toy box and played in my bedroom as I stomped my foot and cried – “mutiny!” I don’t remember much of what I had in mind for my companions but I know there was a parrot in it, and my favorite boy from school hadn’t turned up so my dad had to stand in and play the lead but the play never got off the ground. 

I was inspired by the stories my dad read to me in bed – usually Roger Hargreaves’ Mr Men. My dad was an avid reader of Western's and this has inspired my first two series. My mum cultivated my imagination with tales of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  Even my maternal Grandparents filled my mind with tales from their childhoods. My grandmother gave me happiness amid severe poverty resulting in working in service for wealthy families, from the age of 13 years old. My granddad herded cows and it was during their childhood's that my grandparents met. They also relayed the and hardships of life during the Second World War, punctuated with times of joy including the birth of both my parents in 1939. All of these things fed my fertile imagination and I was childhood dreamer who liked to dress up, dance and perform in my own funny little way.

On a Friday afternoon at School when I was 9 years old our teacher encouraged us to put on small plays at the end of the day. I would regularly get my friends to perform parodies of 1980’s T.V advertisements and I also seem to remember making a drama where there was someone committing suicide by turning the gas on! Heaven knows what my teacher must have thought I think even while I was still young it was apparent that I was a kooky little girl who was going to turn out to do something different with her life.  

By the time I was a teenager I had become very introverted and conscious of my individuality and sexuality. I always had a painted face and dyed black hair. I was ‘terribly misunderstood’ and dramatic of course. I spent a lot of time in my bedroom drawing, painting and writing two pieces of work - which I might still have in the attic! The first was a Sci-fi story about the rulers of two planets colonized from earth – somewhere in the future. The second was a mature piece for a 14 year old, it was about the end of the world after a nuclear explosion and a young woman who went on to lead the resistance – that sounds familiar! 

At school I enjoyed studying Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, George Orwell’s 1984, Harold Becker’s The Ragman’s Daughter, H.E Bates’ A Triple Echo. I was fascinated also by our work on William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, a harrowing story with an insight into uncontrolled human nature without social restraint which fascinated me. 

I was also a fan of mystical novels and conventional 19th Century ghost stories including the likes of Robert Lewis Stephenson’s Jekyll and Hyde. I also remember my first ‘Gay story’ by Jeanette Winterson as Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. It thrilled me to bits to find a character that I could identify with, while the parallels of mine and Jess’ sexuality were where the similarities ended, it felt like a major psychological step for me to understand who I really was as I had felt isolated for many years.    

I rested my quill for a few years and trained as a professional actor in my early twenties. I enjoyed performing the work of Henrik Ibsen, Oscar Wilde and Noel Coward and my most successful role was as Calamity Jane adapted from the 1953 Warner Brother’s film. Honestly, my acting and singing left a lot to be desired and I dropped out without completing the 3-year course. 

A friend encouraged me to write, which breathed life back into my work. I spent about 5 years from the age of 24 writing material.  This included three theatre plays, two novels and two screenplays – none of which ever managed to generate more than a nibble of interest from producers or publishers as well as an unfinished autobiography. I was even introduced to an ex gangster who I worked on a Romantic Comedy with, but eventually work came to a halt with Tony’s investment in production of another script which sadly didn’t come to fruition. 

Feeling despondent and the Internet still in its infancy, I turned my mind to film Direction. I applied for a course at post-grad level but was refused entry on the grounds that I wasn’t a postgraduate! It dawned on me that perhaps my work was more than a little under developed because I had left school with only 4 qualifications: - English Literature, Language, English for business as well as typing - a limited skillset to develop my literary career. 

I set about getting myself educated in both English Literature and Language as a mature College student and followed on with a 6-year part time course giving me a 2:1 Honours Degree in Humanities with Classical Studies. Some of the interdisciplinary modules included works in - The Enlightenment, Romanticism, and War Poetry, Literature in the Roman and Greek Worlds as well as the Humanist Movement of the Renaissance in Europe, Feminist Literature, Shakespeare and Restoration Theatre. 

I’m currently completing a three year Research Masters in Classical Studies, which includes extensive work on the Greek Theatre as well as political philosophy and satire. My favourites are comedies by Aristophanes and the great tragedies of Sophocles in particular Oedipus the King and Philoctetes both stories, which reflect the tragedy of our condition and show humanity at its best and worst. 

My Thesis this year reflects my interest in the image of the human form in both written material and sculpture in order to understand an individual’s social experience. My interest lies in people who experienced marginalisation in the first and second century C.E; like those with disabilities, migrants, prisoners, slaves, prostitutes and homosexuals. I’ve found Apuleius’ The Golden Ass to be of particular importance in understanding the dimensions of slavery within a functioning society. 

I first stumbled on Erotic Romance novels a couple of years ago when a friend introduced me and I just can’t get enough of them – if only I had more hours in the day! I intend to blog about some of my favourite stories as I read them.  

It’s only now I have been able to build the courage to write fiction again which I find is an emotional process and I often draw on my own experiences as a bisexual female having had long term same sex relationships. My partner too, who is male has experienced the fluid boundaries of sexuality in the modern world and all of the difficulties and positive experiences which it brings into our lives. I’ve been fortunate enough to have wonderful parents who love me no mater which team I am batting for!  

I enjoy reading anything from the historical novels of Conn Iggulden right through to contemporary Erotica and Erotic Romance. I also enjoy work which has an ‘edge’ or mystery to it, but most of all I adore writing that inspires me and strikes chords that make me feel alive. I’m sure you will find that both my academic and personal experiences and the ideals of others to which I aspire influence my work.

Copyright © 2014 Mae Hancock, All Rights Reserved. There is no sexually explicit material contained within this web site.