Recharging

It’s been a little while since I have posted. I have been taking a few long breaths following the crazy weeks that were the launch of The Tyrant’s Onslaught. As much as it was a terrific experience. I needed some time to relax.

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I was lucky enough to spend some time in the Yarra Valley and switch my mind off for a few days. Today I started writing again, chapter 14 of the final novel in the Valerious Chronicles, and it felt great. It reminded me that to create great art your mind needs to be at its best.

I feel that I am back in that space, where I can focus on getting the final book done. I have been taking the time to read some different things, a few comics (Saga is amazing!!) and some horror, which I haven’t read a lot of. It has been a refreshing change.

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Visiting the Melbourne Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary also rekindled my love of animals and reminded me to make sure I get out of the study/office more often to seek inspiration from our furry, slithery and feathered friends.

2014-09-19 12.39.59For now, back to it. Unlike the wombats I can’t sleep all the time. I have a third book to finish!

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Seeking out inspiration

florence

Each and every one of us seeks inspiration. It may be to paint a picture, write a story, or take a leap towards a new career. Whatever the reason we all require external stimuli to get the creative juices flowing, or preferably overflowing. There are so many options available to us. Let us take the internet as a brief example.

Healsville We live in an age where by reaching into our pockets we can press a few buttons, or even use voice commands, to access practically 99% of the world’s information. The height of physical exertion required to do so is reaching for your phone. There is no other word to describe it but astonishing.

Imagine going a thousand years into the past, pulling out an iPhone, and showing someone a live stream from the other side of the planet; or heaven forbid a Meme! Likely you would be burned at the stake, or at the very least put on trial for sorcery.

Sorcery Today we take it for granted. Don’t! The internet can be a treasure hoard of inspiration. Want to paint a picture of a toucan? Google it and you will get plenty of ideas. You’ll find help and pictures to allow you to achieve mastery of the toucan portrait. Want to write a story? There is literally no end to the advice you can find online. I mean that. Whilst you are reading advice, someone else is writing and posting more, so it never ends!

However there are times when you must look to other sources for inspiration. Recently I have found one in particular to be most effective for me. That is going places.

Montsalvat

Now these places don’t need to be far, in fact they can even be your backyard. Take a moment to step away from the TV, computer and iPad, and go for a walk. Hop into the car and drive to a local forest. Catch a bus to a museum. Go swimming in a lake, with or without clothes. Whatever you choose, make sure you take some pictures. Because it is easy to see something wonderful and fully appreciate it. It is a lot harder to remember it accurately when you are back at home seeking to draw on that inspiration.

Everybody has a phone on their camera now. When you see something which makes you stop and stare, take a quick picture. Collect all of these on your computer and over time build a library of inspiration.

Mitchell River Now this must come with a warning clause. Do not spend all of your time taking photos and not actually enjoying the scenery. That would be pointless. The photos are only there to act as a booster for when you get back home. You need to soak in the inspiration whilst you are actually there witnessing it.

Also take care not to get carried away with taking photos at the expense of the people you are with. It is fine to take a few quick snaps when walking through the old castle with your family. It is not acceptable to make them wait an hour whilst you catalogue every turret and stained-glass window.

Montsalvat A friend of mine once looked through my photos from a trip to Europe and about halfway through asked me why I had so many pictures of doors, windows and random houses. I explained to them that I like to write and when I write, every once and a while, the picture in my imagination isn’t as clear as it could be. In those moments I open up my photos and have a quick scan. Quite often I will find a picture that sets the juices overflowing once more and I am able to get the words out just as I needed them.

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This might not work for everyone. But at the very least you will be getting a good lung-full of fresh air. Something priceless for those of us with office jobs.

Here are two of my favourite snaps that I go back to, which remind me of where I have been, and jump start the imagination.

Heidelberg

Austria

Book Depository – A blessing for your Australian readers.

Deutsch: Logo von Amazon.com

Deutsch: Logo von Amazon.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently invested in Amazon’s Createspace expanded distribution service. For the one off price of $25 my paperback was made available through a group of new retailers. Under normal circumstances this would not have made an awful lot of difference for me in terms of sales. The majority of my hard copy sales come through the Amazon website.

 

However being an Australian writer and having the bulk of my readers down under I have found the one off payment well worth it for one reason, the Book Depository. For Australians the Amazon website can prove costly when adding postage costs. Unless ordering in bulk, a single book can often prove too expensive and deter your customers from buying your book.

 

By having my novel on the Book Depository my Australian readers can now purchase in Australian dollars, avoiding currency fluctuations and costs and are able to get free postage. So when publishing think about your Australian fans and spend the $25 to make your book available on the Book Depository.