How did I start writing?
I didn't. You don't start things everybody has told you from an early age you ought to be doing. It's a teenage thing.
Seriously, though... Once upon a time I lived in an extremely noisy city in the UK, tried to make a living as a stage director (ha!), and had a day job (because you can't make a living as a stage director) at the largest meat market in town. If I say 'day job,' I mean get up at five in the morning so you make it to work for seven job. Market, you see? The perks were considerable, though. As many free ox kidneys as you liked. Oh, yes, and free afternoons. To be used for writing, so I wouldn't start chewing my paws in the creative no-man's-land of office administration.
In those days it was strictly fan fiction. Which, by the way, is one of the great, magical sandboxes of any aspiring writer. It's where you learn to wield the most important tool of the trade, by being able to concentrate purely on crafting the story, without having to worry about creating a universe and its characters, because somebody else has already created them for you. Oh, and any fandom will do.
For me it was Stargate SG-1, which I discovered late one Saturday night on Fox . Shortly thereafter I found out that there was such a thing as fan fiction. And that was that. A stunning transformation. No, really... Meek office administrator (okay, the 'meek' part is poetic license) by day, bane of the characters by night.
Hello, my name is Doc, and I'm a whumper.
Five novels, two short stories, and several fan fiction awards later, I got an email from Fandemonium Ltd: they were about to launch a new line of official Stargate SG-1 tie-in novels, and would I be interested in joining their stable of authors?
This, of course, is the kind of thing that never, ever happens in the real world.
Since then I've written three Stargate SG-1 novels, Trial By Fire, Survival Of The Fittest, and Transitions, which is to be published in December 2011, and a Stargate Atlantis novel, Mirror Mirror. I also emigrated to the Canadian west coast, renovated a house, and got myself a canine.
Note: I'm all for teacup dogs as long as I'm the one defining the size of the teacup.