This is where I write the heart-warming backstory that drags you in and makes you sympathise with me as a person. That’s how we do this. It’s formulaic because it works. Like pricing books at x dollars and 99 cents because we subconsciously think there’s a significant difference between $5.99 and $6.00. That’s Sales. That’s Marketing. That’s a pseudo-psychological dirty trick and a total abomination.
Here’s the thing, I don’t want you to like me, I want you to like what I write.
They say people don’t buy the art, they buy the artist. Well, screw that. If my work isn’t worth reading, then it’s not worth buying either.
But, because it’s apparently required…
When I was little I lived a few meters from the water and wanted to be a writer. I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was about six, or as it was known in those days “Get back in your seat you little shit!!!”, by the age of 12 it was partially under control with a strict combination of high aerobic activity designed to trigger adrenal fatigue and post activity cellular regeneration aka ‘running around playing outside like a mad bastard until you’re tired out’ & high imagination visualisation exercises aka ‘reading’. After that I wanted to teach unarmed combat in the army, guess I thought I looked cool in a Dobuk. I learnt to ride a horse and paddle a kayak before I was a teenager, and had some competitive success with both. Still trying to master this ‘bicycle’ thing, though.
I haven’t always stayed put. I did a month around China by train, visiting the usual tourist traps and cheerfully getting fleeced by Beijing students who ‘helped’ with an overpriced visit a local tea shop. Did the rounds of the Forbidden City (interesting) and the Summer Palace (gorgeous), before seeing the terracotta warriors (humbling). After that, I moved to Korea to teach English for a year but realised that a teacher’s life was not for me. In the end, I wandered home a bit older, and a bit wiser, and a lot thinner.
I honestly believe that nothing soothes the soul and opens the mind as much as new experiences and that the best new experiences are found when you travel outside your comfort zone. Coming from such a young nation, I like my travel to come with a healthy slice of history, so since Asia, I’ve fallen in love with Florence, seen the glory that was Rome, had the best salad I’ve ever tasted at Knossos and almost died of the heat in Athens. Oh, and here’s a pro-tip for you, San Gimignano in Italy has the best gelato in the world.
Travel aside, I started out intending to be a nurse, but in the end paid my way through University doing security work and got a psychology degree. I considered a military career for a while, but my knees had other ideas. So for I went to work in the Health Service, first as a HR Drone and the with a Mental Health team in a small country town. That was an eye-opening experience, but a rough one.
At any given time I’ve got two or more novels and a dozen short stories on the go. Right now I’m focusing on my own work, specifically a loosely tied together Sci-Fi series and an Urban Fantasy serial. My writing draws on a lot of my experiences, especially the different ways we can view the world. There is nothing more confronting than meeting someone with a common language, yet a completely alien cultural frame of reference. How around the next corner could be a whole hidden world, invisible to anyone who doesn’t leave the tourists path. Maybe you’ll find yourself caught up in a strange festival that seems like it comes from another time. There is beauty and mystery all around us, we just have to look.
I live in Australia now, at the top of a mountain that hasn’t seen snow in years, and about a day’s drive to a capital city. I miss the water, but the rural life agrees with me. Being a thousand feet above sea level means I get lovely cool summers, but its a nasty drive to the beach. Still, I’d like to head back to Florence again with a laptop and a lot of time to write. Might have to drop in on a few additional places along the way. Maybe I’ll see you there, I’ll be the tall one with the blissfully dazed expression on their face, with a notepad in one hand and a coffee in the other.