dan canwell - biography

photo credit (c) joanne emerson

 photo credit (c) joanne emerson


A long time ago,  I was born in Portsmouth, which is a great place to be hatched to be honest. I spent my childhood growing up just outside the city, in what was then a small village called Portchester, if you are interested in history, then take my word for it, Portchester has it all. In fact, don't take my word for it. . .  go and see it for yourself ! And if you don't want to do that then stick around because the books are coming. . . 

My education was mostly in the relaxed atmosphere of St John's College in Southsea;  daily train journeys into the city, the constant threat of being stabbed because you wore a school uniform, and some very interesting characters as teachers to break the routine. From there, via Highbury College to re-sit my A levels (I was never very academic,)   and then I embarked on the adventure of a lifetime to the north-east to study law. Ostensibly to make my fortune.

To any aspiring lawyer, I say this; don't do it.

I had fun, in the days when you could,  and when being a solicitor actually paid a living wage; it was a job where creativity was paramount - after all you couldn't say the same thing to the same Magistrates about the same defendant week after week and expect to be successful.  You needed to paint a picture with words, to enthral or captivate an audience of cynical shop owners, headmasters or accountants that mostly either wanted to exact retribution on my client or bugger off for a caffeine fix. And the story telling craft was learned - or was it inherent?

But then it all came crashing down and I was out of it, and looking for something new. I've tried things I've loved, and things I've hated but in every place and every job I've stored away the feelings, the people and the atmospheres and one day they will find their way into print.

For the moment I remain in the north east of England, hanging around Durham indulging in my other passion of photography whilst trying to avoid working too hard at the day job.



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