After writing over a million words, a friend pointed out to me one day that most of my work was “about getting even”. That surprised me at first – which only goes to show I’m not as sharp as I think I am.
I’ve always had a simple rule: Write the books I want to read. About fascinating people just trying to survive – facing lousy odds, sometimes insurmountable barriers.You’ll notice I rarely have one hero in my novels, which breaks the rules of conventional authorship. But I can’t help it. People everywhere are heroes, have been heroes, and want to be heroes – if given half a chance. I feel compelled to tell their stories.
I started out life, like a lot of kids, getting picked on. I discovered the world is full of bullies. So I complained to my parents, and they said “Stand up for yourself. But while your at it, don’t forget the rights of others.”Books got me through those teenage years, and I’m very thankful.
I owe a debt of gratitude to writers like Ray Bradbury, Ian Fleming, J.D. Salinger, Elmore Leonard and Robert Heinlein.Teach your kids to be brave, to believe in themselves, to believe in a just world. I know life is not fair – but that’s no reason not to stand up to bullies and cheaters and manipulators. Sure, you might get a nosebleed once in a while. But it will be worth it.I’ve been a Creative Director for an advertising agency, a TV Producer, a computer programmer, entrepreneur, painter and restaurant owner.
The only thing I’ve learned from these careers? Being a parent is the best job on the planet.
Theo Cage is the pen name of Russell Smith, a Canadian author and artist.