Colin Watts was born in Staines, to the sound of doodlebugs overshooting London. He is now seventy one, married with grown up children and has lived in Liverpool for many years. He trained as a civil engineer and town planner but soon turned to community development and adult education, as well as teaching creative writing for Liverpool University, the WEA, etc. Not long retired from the Adult Learning Service, he continues to teach on a free-lance basis. In the late eighties and early nineties he wrote and performed sketches and plays for Network Socialist Theatre Company and had plays performed in and around Liverpool, including Real Dreams, Snoopers and She-He. His poetry has been published in various magazines and anthologies and he has two collections out there: Human Geography, 2005 (Driftwood Publications) and Taking Down the Tree House, 2011 (Headland Publications). For the last few years he’s been writing mainly short stories and flash fiction. Publications include Biscuit Publishing Prize-winning Stories, Éclat Fiction, Aesthetica Magazine, Flash Fiction World, Sentinel Literary Quarterly and National Flash Fiction Day anthology. He cycles everywhere, cultivates a quarter of an allotment and is a long-standing member of the Dead Good Poets Society. You can find him on colinwatts.net.
Colin Watts in 60 seconds
When did you start writing?1949 Crafnant Lodge Primary School, Ashford, Middlesex.
What do you love about Short Stories?'a world in a grain of sand', as Blake said, though not about short stories.
Do you write in other forms?Plays, though not for many years; poetry, though not for a few years.
What distracts you from writing?Family, friends, reading, cycling, cooking, growing stuff, mending things.
Outside of writing, what are your other passions?Family, friends, reading, cycling, cooking, growing stuff, mending things.
What is your favourite book?The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hasek
Who are your favourite writers?Bertolt Brecht, Alice Munro and Flann O'Brien.
Where is your dream location?For writing, I'm in it - looking out on trees, surrounded by books. Otherwise, the Rhinog mountains.
What one item would you put into Room 101?Privatisation - our schools, our health service, our railways, et al.
Do you have any advice for new writers?'Stay on the Bus' (Helsinki Bus Station Theory - Arno Minkkinen - look it up). For photography, substitute writing.
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