“Mark of a Warrior (also known as Stub!) was my first piece of fiction to be published. As you might expect, I learnt a lot from the process, but the lasting lessons I took were that you need more words to tell a story than you think and that stories do not need to be complicated to be good.
“This piece, a straightforward short tale of a young man going through a part of gang initiation, has only two characters, a simple plot and a small twist at the end. Many of my previous attempts piled on layer after layer of plot or complexity, far too much for the short format.
“It was a classic example of writing what you know. Writing in the first person, I was a young man writing about a young man, both dreaming of success and about to discover what reality had in store.”