Updated: Mar 27
I was recently asked to do an interview on Smashwords.com. As this might be of interest to you I have included a transcript of it here.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up poor in the Perth Hills and the Great Southern Region of Western Australia. Both my parents were unemployed and frankly not overly motivated to find work. As money was always absent, I spent my childhood exploring the world through books and playing in our expansive back yard, climbing trees, spelunking in the storm drains and otherwise growing up like a child from a previous century. This, coupled with my experiences serving in the Australian Navy, significantly influenced my writing and outlook on life.
Perth was an interesting place to grow up. The Perth hills were and are a melting pot of Italian, Yugoslav, and other immigrants. From this diversity, I learnt how a person could both honour where they came from and belong where they are at the same time. As kids, the playground was full of good-natured arguments about the superiority or inferiority of each person's ethnic homeland. Yet we were all Australians and fiercely proud of our nation. This dichotomy taught me how, for all our differences, we were untied by our common commitment to each other.
My service in the military also continued and reaffirmed this education. While exposure to the more antagonistic relationship between the ethnic communities in the East of Australia provided me with a conceptual counterpoint to the example of integration I had grown up with. During this service and my subsequent residence in Sydney and Melbourne, I first encountered the harmful paradigm of Us versus them, which I seek in part to challenge in my writings.
Finally, I credit my ability to think and write freely about ideas which are different to the norm to the culture of toleration and acceptance of difference within limits which I experienced growing up and during my military service. The cultural zeitgeist was and is in Perth and the Australian Navy both accepting of difference and conformist by nature. This duality of thought has undoubtedly influenced my approach to life and my writings.
In essence, both the cultural norms that shaped by youth and shape my writing and thinking to this day are quite simple. They are premised on the expectation of conformity to and willing participation in the common good. Be that in doing your job to the best of your ability, helping others out when they needed it and respecting others. While also being permissive of difference and non-conformity outside of these common areas.
When did you first start writing?
While I fancied my self a writer as a child, I did not do any real writing excepting business reports and university assignments until I turned thirty. It was at this time after suffering a loss of faith and subsequently abandoning Christianity I began to write.
I began writing to make sense of the world around me and clarify my thoughts as I explored morality without the guiding principles of Christianity. It is from this process that my writing has stemmed and continues to be informed by.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The genesis of the Code: Discover the Purpose to life and how to live was when my oldest son asked my what would happen when he died. I responded with the standard Christian response; “When you die, if you have been good, you go to heaven, and if you have been evil, you go to hell.”
However, Over the next few weeks, I began to wonder for the first time in years whether this was 100% correct. I began to investigate what the scriptures and the theologians thought and said. To my surprise, there was a great deal of confusion amongst the faithful as to exactly what happened after death. It was from this starting point that my investigations began which as I recorded them lead to my book.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I became an author because I could not find anyone else who had written or was writing about the same ideas that I was contemplating. It struck me that the great thinkers in the philosophical canon being mostly without children had in their search for the truth had seemingly overlooked the truth that every common person knew. Life's meaning was contained in family and community.
The more I talked to other people the more I realised that this was not indeed the unofficial philosophy of the common person. This philosophy furthermore was ignored by the media and academic exemplars of our society I decided that I had a message to share that was important (at least to me) and that I if I was able it was worth doing what I could to share that message.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy in writing for me is simply the magical way in which simply by writing your ideas down they become clearer and more pliable. It never ceases to fill me with a sense of accomplishment when after struggling with a concept or idea I put it to paper and as I write it out am able to come to grips with it and solve or understand the problem more clearly.
Who are your favourite authors?
Stephen King, Authur Schopenhauer, George Orwell & Victor Hugo
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Working for, teaching and taking care of my four wonderful children.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend my time pretty evenly working at home with my kids and working in the Outback for work.
How do you discover the books you read?
I discover the books I read mostly from references in books I have already read or more occasionally from news and blog posts.
What is your writing process?
My process is a bit eclectic; I will often talk through my ideas with friends or even just talk to myself while driving. Once the ideas have some form, I’ll generally write about them in my diary. Finally, when the subject I have been thinking about organically comes up in my writing, I will dust off the diary entry and paraphrase it in the work.
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