A MUSICAL THING WITH KEYS
I’m an atheist, anarchist writer (author, novelist, satirist, commentator, poet), cryptic crossword compiler and blogger. I don’t believe in the human construct of God, but I reconcile science and religion, believing the bible and other religious scripture could well be historical recordings, using the language and tools of the scribes of the time. Give an ancient human a tablet computer, and might they not describe it as something like a magic mirror? If biblical scholars had mobile phones, there’d be less religious debate. Angels, demons, gods and aliens are interchangeable here.
I believe in anarchy as a monumental power shift in the world, where the power is returned to the individual. I’m an advocate of free speech, as defined by Amnesty as a human right.
I’m taking medication for chronic depression and I have other mental health issues. I smoke cannabis to deal with my anxiety. I’m also an alcoholic, and I like words.
As a writer, I’ve been compared to many well-known authors in their genres. My dark fiction has been described as “Like a Black Mirror for the page, these stories flit between dark sci-fi and psychological horror but are always underlined by a salient sense (and deep understanding of) the human condition.” I also write lighter science fiction (my sci-fi romcom was reviewed as “An extraordinary juggling act”), and I wrote an award-winning children’s story too. My other credentials are on my writer-for-hire website: www.stevelaker.net
Once upon a time, I ran a successful business. I had a nice flat in a manor house in Bexley, with a swimming pool. Before that, I was married for ten years and lived in Catford. Drinking destroyed it all.
After a lengthy battle, I now have my drinking under control. My love of the drink lost me everything and for three years I was homeless. I was sleeping rough on the streets for eight months. I established a squat in a disused commercial premises and lived there for six months, before being evicted. Then I sofa-surfed, stayed with friends and lived above a hellish pub for a while. Eventually, the local authority recognised me as being vulnerable and housed me. Now I live above a coffee shop in a Kent village, where I have been able to let my writing be my life. The war with depression is a longer conflict but I’ve embraced my unique illness. I’m 47 (a prime number), divorced and father to two kids who live with their mum.
I’m a vocal feminist and I’m fiercely anti-discrimination on any grounds; I’m active in the LGBTQIA community and supportive of anything which promotes equality, diversity and inclusion. I say what I want and I encourage debate. I wear my heart on my left hand (a tattoo). Expression is freedom.
I’m a supporter of The Amy Winehouse Foundation and the work which they do to educate young people on the dangers of substance abuse. I also support The Nonhuman Rights Project. After much internal debate, I posed a question: Are non-human species autonomous and self-determining? That was when I became a vegetarian, although I do have convenient lapses and caveats. My belief that consciousness is separate from the body is grounded in quantum mechanics but demonstrated by a very simple proposition: You are walking a path and you reach a point where the path splits: left or right. I’m left-handed, so I choose the path on the left and begin to walk. Does the other path still exist? These are the things which occupy my mind.
I am staunchly anti-censorship and this blog’s editorial guidelines are the same as Amnesty International’s Freedom of speech as a human right statement. The tools and resources for my blog work are in the Mark’s Books (Bookmarks) sidebar of this blog, along with links and stickers for causes I support and promote. Everyone has a voice and anyone can have a blog. I believe that humanity needs to start a new conversation and the beginning of that dialogue lies in writing, publishing, joining other voices and campaigning for change.
The story of my personal struggle is documented in this blog, the first fifteen months or so of which see me lose hope, become homeless, then eventually come back. I’m still a bit lost and continue to use the blog as an outlet for my thoughts, whether they be diary entries, observations and comment, satire, poems or my fiction work.
I am a regular contributor to the horror, fantasy and science fiction webzine, Schlock and my short stories have been published in print. My sci-fi novel (Cyrus Song), collected tales (The Perpetuity of Memory), award-winning children’s book (A Girl, Frank Burnside and Haile Selassie), and semi-autobiographical novel (The Paradoxicon), are available from most book stores. Future titles and publication dates are on my Book shelf page.
My non-fiction work includes marketing material and management reports, promotional email and web copy; research, analysis, comment and reviews. I also offer ghost writing, proof-reading and publishing services.
Despite having very little compared to what I once had, I’ve found the life which I wish to pursue.
I can be stalked and harassed via social media and my personal website is where I’m slightly more professional.