Will has been my husband for over forty years, yet still he defies easy description. Perhaps it’s useful to remember the old maxim, “by their fruits shall you know them”, and define him by his areas of activity:
He is a gifted musician, seemingly capable of getting a tune out of any instrument you lay in his hands, whether it’s the bagpipes, ‘cello, charango, didgeridoo, or a plain old guitar. It’s therefore not surprising to learn his musical activities have been extensive over the years.
But he’s also a talented wordsmith and has written numerous songs in differing styles. This was brought to the fore when we worked together on the musical, Roll Over Jehovah!, with Will’s brother Tim. “Will Shaman’s score is slickly clever [with] everything from disco to Bach.” (Evening Standard). The show, with choreography by Wayne Sleep, ran for six weeks in London.
He is currently working on Fit For Purpose, a book describing his personal experiences with epilepsy and the creative possibilities of altered states of consciousness. His naturally optimistic disposition leads him to the conclusion that epilepsy, at least for some, can be a positive way of being, rather than simply a condition to be cured or suppressed.
Will’s also a visual artist. He was trained as a graphic designer and illustrator in the ‘80s, but he had already been designing and printing his own range of handmade wallpapers – picking up a Design Centre sticker along the way and lodging a couple of patterns in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s permanent collection of prints. He went on to become Design Manager at Oxford University Press, setting up their first fully digital design studio. After going freelance, he continued collaboration with The Press, animating for English Language Teaching CD-ROMs.
He’s not only my husband but also my best friend, so he was the obvious choice when I needed illustrations and puzzles for The Angel of Secrets. It also helps that he has a good working knowledge of Astrology, Tarot and other mystical practices, all of which help his devious puzzle-making imagination!
For more about Will, visit his site at willshaman.co.uk.