Richard Kurti

As a child
I grew up in Harlow, Essex, where I spent a lot of time climbing trees, building Lego, playing football and mooching with friends. After seeing Steven Spielberg’s first film, Duel, I became a movie fanatic, watching everything from German New Wave to American blockbusters, and dreaming of becoming a film director. Somewhere along the line I started working insanely hard at school to try and get good enough grades to get to University.
As an adult
I studied Philosophy & English at Cambridge University, which was a completely mind-expanding experience. After graduating, I trained at the BBC as a TV sound recordist, working on everything from Blue Peter to the Barcelona Olympics. In the meantime, I started directing short films and documentaries, and this led on to scriptwriting… which soon turned into a full time job. I have written screenplays for Hollywood studios, as well as TV shows like Robin Hood, Primeval and Sinbad, and am currently developing a TV series of the Quatermain books. Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to write a novel; one day I decided to stop dreaming and start doing something about it. Because I had to fit the novel in around my screenwriting, I started getting up an hour earlier every day… I bought a tiny laptop that stayed with me all the time, so that every spare minute could be used for writing … three years later Monkey Wars was finished.
As a writer
I will write anywhere that I can set up my laptop and put on a pair of headphones! When I’m out and about, Costa Coffee is my favourite place to write – you can make a cappuccino and some biscuits last for two hours and no-one throws you out. Trains are another great place to write, especially one hour journeys – just enough time to get a couple of pages done, not so long that you get bogged down. At home I’ve got a room set aside just for writing – all my notes and dictionaries are laid out, so I can just dive straight in. Before I submit a draft, I always like to read it out loud to myself. I’ve read bedtime stories to my son ever since he was 6 months old, and I think hearing words said out loud can alert you to things you miss when you read silently in your mind.

Books by Richard Kurti