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What would we find under your bed?
I’d like to say I have a stack of snooker cues under there, but I haven’t played the game for a while. I have a lift up bed, so there is an actual cupboard space under my bed. I have two suit cases, large and small for the overseas and local trips I regularly take. Not much else...boring I know!
What was the scariest moment of your life?
I was on one of the many skiing trips I made as a younger man. I had been skiing intermittently for many years and was about to make the transition from skiing the intermediate (blue) runs to the advanced (black) runs. My most terrifying moment was summoning the courage to ski my first black run. I was reluctantly pushed to do this by an Austrian man I had befriended that week. He was twice my age, but a vastly better and fitter skier than I. I remember his words well. “Okay Michael, I go, you follow,” as he suddenly leapt over the precipice of what appeared to be a vertical cliff to me. I dared to look over the edge, to see my friend a hundred metres below waving me to follow. Somehow, I managed to summon the courage to do just that. One of the scenes in Cubeball was based loosely on that experience.
Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?
I often listen to music to inspire me. Surprisingly, I don’t mind noise around me as I write. A lot of my first drafts are penned in public places, such as cafes, beaches and parks. However, music that is special to me, summons some of my best creativity. I often say to myself and other writers, if what you write draws out strong emotions in you, it is usually good writing. All art can have that effect on me, writing, music, film and theatre. But what music? Armand Amar at the moment. Also Jamie xx, Laura Marling. I of course listened to a lot of Beethoven as I wrote Cubeball.
What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing next year?
I am writing another new novel in 2016. I have organised accommodation in Bordeaux for a few months to write the first draft. Anne, my partner, will join me after that and we’ll tour France and Italy together for another few months. I have never driven on European roads, so I have set a goal to finally drive on European roads. I’ll return to Melbourne in August and edit the new novel for the remainder of 2016. Feel free to contact me and I’ll tell you more about my new novel.
How long did it take you to write this book?
I wrote the first draft of Cubeball in three months, whilst I was staying in a small town in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. It was the sparsest accommodation I had ever experienced. There was no television or radio or wifi! It was very hard adjustment, but I have never felt more creative. I remember regularly waking up in the early hours, excited by a lucid dream I had experienced and spending an hour or so describing it in my notebook.
A naturally gifted ex-national champion and a savant with a computer-like mind compete against the world's best in the 22nd century's most popular sport - CUBEBALL - the chess-like, technology-enhanced, snooker of the future where the world stage is dominated by gambling, drugs and massive audiences.
Enjoy an excerpt:
Jules’ gaze emboldened Mickey to reveal his special gift to her. He strode confidently to the cue-ball and lined up one of the most difficult shots in cubeball. Then with little thought, he cracked the cue-ball with a force that matched the passion he was feeling. The curve on the first line was more pronounced than the programmed line set by the computer.
Mickey had struck the perfect shot. Sam and Riley sat staring at the console, mesmerised by what they had just seen and eager to re-capture its perfection on replay. Only champions could play this way and it was clear to all that Mickey was developing into one.
“Fucking incredible,” said Johnnie. His eyes were wide. Filled with awe for Mickey’s skills and expectation with how much he could earn from it.
Mickey didn’t hear his appreciative manager. He didn’t see the small tear that had formed in his kid sister’s admiring eye. His gaze remained on Jules. She brushed her hair back on to her shoulders before resting her slender hands on her hips. Her mouth was wide open, breathing in her excitement for what she had just seen. Then her eyes revealed that there was more to her feelings than that of an adoring fan. Her gaze began to fill with a stirring hunger. Fate was beginning to move into Mickey’s life like an evening moon tide.
About the Author:I worked with national and international organisations as a business analyst in Australia and overseas. I authored many business books analysing the foodservice and food retail industry in Australia, Europe and Asia, as well as agribusiness global trends. I also ran a consultancy business that assisted Australian enterprises to develop new markets in Australia and overseas.
I commenced writing science fiction novels full time in 2009. It was a life-long interest of mine. I have written five novels - all exploring contemporary social issues in future speculative worlds. They are: Shadow Dance; Extinction; Cubeball; Titan Sages and Alive. My novels blend speculative science, new age and poetry. Readers of novels such as Carl Sagan’s Contact would enjoy my novels.
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