I love to read and crawl into people’s minds. Why did the author write the book in this style? Why that example? I am also curious about the writing process authors go through from the moment that their idea for a book to the published book.
Reflecting back after your début book comes out is very insightful to find what you did right and where you needed help.
Below are my questions and Geoff’s answers. Your thoughts on these issues are very welcome so leave them in the comment box below this post.
1: How do you deal with writer’s block?
Interesting enough, my writer’s block came to me in chapter 16 of the original manuscript, which is now epilogue. I was in full flow and then suddenly my heart could not write any further. Potentially this was the hardest challenge that I had ever experienced in writing to date.
I took a step back from the book, from what I was writing at the time and examined my emotions. Where was I in life and I asked myself certain questions. Whilst this had been a very hard set of questions for me to answer, the truth was examined. It was the very reason the story got hard for me to write.
I examined the particular chapter and after a while felt it was not worth writing. After contemplation I was ready to move forward again. I reaffirmed my purpose and the epilogue was born again which made a perfect completion to the book.
2: What’s the best thing about being a writer?
Always, in every place across the world, people have written. Writing has not changed since the Roman days. Writing affords me a chance each and every day to just sit with my thoughts and be still. I live in a very busy city with people everywhere on mobile devices, and I love that. But I also think it’s important to sit and be quiet, to reflect and to use creativity with yourself and your thoughts. Writing for me is very meditative and calming, and helps to keep me peaceful in a very frantic world.
Every writer is influenced by everything they’ve ever read or seen. All the books and news articles that have passed through your hands have also somehow made their way into your thoughts, whether you are aware of it or not. I love that idea. I love to think that when I write, I am in some ways sitting down with all the books I have ever read, and in some ways, sitting down with the writers who wrote those books. I like to think that I’m connected to a long line of people just like me, people who also loved to write with the ability to leave a legacy of my work that someday will be read and hopefully inspired upon by others.
3: What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Trust yourself and never, never give up. Be determined right to the end. You should always write about what you know and love. This is not just a matter of principle but solid writing advice. Editors and readers have a good understanding whether a book has a purpose, it is their intuitive know-how. You have a story to tell that cannot be told by anyone else, in any other way, and if you’re talented and lucky and work hard, you will find the right way to tell it. In other words, be truthful to yourself and you can communicate the truth to others through writing. This is not to say that you cannot be creative, but rather that your voice, your true voice, is what will draw people in to your manuscript.
On another note it is quite possible that one publisher will reject your book for a number of reasons while another loves it for those very same reasons. The trick is to secure a great editor and find a publisher whose interests align with yours.
4: What are you working on now?
As my good friends and colleagues constantly remind me on a daily basis, I must write version 2.0 Life after the Sharks. This is in my thoughts and it will come. I need to be in a creative space with my netbook and some great coffee. It will happen soon, I promise guys! Outside of 2.0, I am enjoying my weekly blog writing, spending time with fellow authors, sharing experiences, PR, interviews, and of course my day job which is always challenging and interesting to life.
5: How do you get inspired to write?
Inspiration was never a concern for my time with Freedom After The Sharks. The obvious inspiration was the honour, respect, and love for my Grandmother and Grandfather. This was the main driver for my book. Secondly, I was in a very special destination in the US called Sedona, Arizona. The Red Rock formations surrounded me and my work daily and it was a channel for the words that came from within me. I felt that my heart and soul truly were providing the words that delivered the manuscript.
I had moments where maybe this was not going to be a book. Then I realised that these moments in my life were coming with their own memory of the realisation. They have the incentive to create a grand moment about themselves, to share with others the lessons of adversity. If you are more deeply connected with yourself in these moments it is very easy to write in the flow of your words even for someone like me.
It was a sheer miracle to sit down and sprint through my life as it happened, visual-by-visual, word-by-word, I did have notes. The emotions have overwhelmed at times and this has simmered in my mind for a while. As much as we might hope that we can sit down and write that easily, it’s not always possible. Fortunately with Freedom After The Sharks the words flowed freely and through me to the manuscript.
6: Where did you get the idea for your book?
The idea for the name Freedom after the Sharks came to me because to some extent or other all of us carry a reflection of the experiences of our lives. However, whether and how we succeed is determined at least in part by how we cope with those experiences and what we learn from them. The only exception is that nobody has ever written transparency about the journey that takes us from hardship to happiness and love.
Freedom after the Sharks is a non-fiction and I have not held back on the truth, the events or adversities that took place in my life or across my successes. Once I committed to writing the first chapter the words just flowed through my body, an amazing experience, and a life changing experience – one that I will never forget, a complete stimulus.