Kenneth Paul Stephen was born in Dumfries in 1972 and lived in a block of flats from which a plate of tomato soup, cooling on a window ledge, once ‘fell’.
His only memory of the four years spent living in the south west of Scotland was having his bare toe ran over by the wheel of someone’s bike, although he was once pushed down a rubbish slide by his sister.
In 1976, he moved with his family to a small village outside Forfar with a handful of houses and no shop. It is called Padanaram. It is mentioned in the Bible. Jacob did something fairly inconsequential there, before the Cream Crackers phase of his life, which was commercially more successful. When Kenneth arrived in Padanaram, it was snowing. He had never seen snow before. He ate a lot of it.
Kenneth’s early love of books stemmed from smelling the interior of the mobile library van for the first time. Seemingly destined to work in agriculture, this was an unpredictable departure. When he decided to study Philosophy at University, everyone –probably rightly, presumed that Kenneth had ‘gone kind of loopy’.
Still besotted by words, some with lots of syllables, Kenneth pursued a career in journalism. He worked for Dundee Press Agency then the Daily Record, then established his own company, Capital City Press, in Edinburgh, in 1998.
In 2005, he sold Capital City Press and traveled with his family, living and working in France, initially in a 1973 Award Globestar caravan with no boiler and an erratic water supply.
Upon returning to Scotland, he established Heartland Media, a Press, PR and Communications agency. He started writing fiction seriously in 2006.
Kenneth’s short stories have been published widely.
In 2010, he won the David Toulmin Short Story Award and was short-listed for the William Soutar Prize.
He also won a Scottish Book Trust New Writer Award and is currently working through a mentoring programme with the country’s leading agency for the promotion of literature.
In 2008, he was short-listed for the William Soutar Prize.
You can see some samples of Kenneth’s work under ‘Excerpts’.