Online, email and in person, many questions focus on similar topics or themes. I have answered the most commonly asked queries below.
If you want to reach out and connect I am openly looking to network events around Newcastle, Sydney and am open to interstate travel for workshops, promotions or fundraising events.
Specifically for schools, I have mapped out writing outcomes from K-12. I am a current high school teacher so I am very interested in connecting with local schools.
I am available via twitter, Instagram, fb or my website. Email me directly @ email@example.com.
Author Question and Answer
Question: How long did it take to write A Decent Life?
Very hard question to answer, but about three years over a five-year span. I moved to a small country town for work and while I was on our property, I wrote some of the scenes such as the palm trees at the grave of Yara Antar. I didn’t really know what that went to, or even why I was writing it. I was more so writing song lyrics and practicing verses, things like that.
About three years later I was contemplating The Greatest Evil, when I remembered that scene I had written three years prior. I have a box under my bed filled with notes, scribbles of thoughts, university scribblings of philosophy and references and three journals filled with different writing ideas.
I searched through my material assuming it would have been lost somewhere in one of the three times we moved house, but unbelievably these three pieces of paper were in that box under my bed waiting to become a part of A Decent Life.
I finished the actual book in about two years, but I am fanatical when it comes to editing. I ripped one third of the book out, as I thought the original ending was too cliché and boring. This is what led to my search for that piece of writing and the Yara Antar chapters.
I feel I could write the same book much quicker now. A Decent Life 2: Chaotic Whispers, is longer, coming in at 100 000 words and that piece took me far less time to write then number 1 which is about 85 000 words. The quality between each work is equal, as like everything in life practice refines your ability and your skills develop the more time you attribute to your practice.
Where did you get the idea from?
This is the hardest question I get asked. Firstly, the theme—Corruption, Chaos and Order—I noticed when a farmer was telling me a story about older generation Australians around his area of rural N.S.W. whose children squandered their wealth built by their grandparents.
I thought over what he was saying and it matched some biblical themes I had read so I decided to look a bit deeper into the idea. I later heard Dr. Jordan Peterson express this exact idea in a podcast after I had written my work, which was weird and thought provoking on its own.
I have a blog called ‘Ideas are What’ which looks at this exact concept. The real answer is I don’t know. It’s a mix of thinking, philosophy, running and linking one thought to the last. My imagination goes wild linking all sorts of weird concepts and sooner or later something manifests from it.
I am starting to believe ideas have their own consciousness. Ideas, it’s almost as though the things I write already exist and it just channels through me somehow with a mix of ability, time, understanding ... I don’t know exactly. It does sound quite strange to write that down but that is how I feel right now.
Other ideas such as The Wolf in I or Untamed Australia, I absolutely feel like they wanted me to write them, rather than me creating and crafting a story. Strange, but true.
When Did You Start Writing?
When I was in primary school I loved to write. High school I despised it, as I developed absolute disdain from both my English Teacher and Shakespeare. I messed around with song lyrics through my teens and early twenties as I love heavy metal and punk rock but I got side track with addiction, girlfriends, surfing and working some very long and intense hours as a chef.
I started taking it seriously when I gave a friend some of A Decent Life 1 to read and she said it was good. I was not overly confident in my art of story crafting so I never knew if my writing was good or not. Of course I liked it, well, actually I love every single book I create, but the authors question is ... will other people?
Do you have any other titles?
Massive yes. I have huge plans and there is nothing holding me back. I write cross genre, that is, I don’t write only Thriller, or Dystopian or Romance and so on. This is because I am a philosopher and I use fiction to explore themes we find in reality.
I have completed books 1 and 2 from The Decent Life trilogy, an Australian Historical fiction titled Untamed Australia, I have a dystopian story in the works right now (about 25k words deep) about gene editing and the pursuit of perfect people. Another title in the works (about 40k words in) follows a werewolf where his story follows the process of addiction. Another title I have is a mystery thriller about a conspiracy.
All up I have fourteen titles in the works and absolutely plan to publish every single one of them plus any new ideas that come up along the way.
Who did you publish through?
I am published through Ocean Reeve Publishing (ORP) in Brisbane. I have published fairly wide, meaning you can find my books on Amazon, Booktopia, Angus and Robertson and many other sites/services. I used the ORP services after a chance meeting between my wife and Ocean, again a chance meeting at the exact moment I needed it.
Writing a book is one thing, but finding a publisher is a very difficult task, maybe even harder then crafting your art. There are definitely people who will rip you off and larger publishing houses are very difficult to establish contact with if you aren’t published, have an agent or an edited manuscript.
All in all, it’s a difficult step in publishing and I am very happy with my product through ORP.