An Interview With Philip J. Bradbury

Todays interview comes from the talented and brilliant Philip J. Bradbury. Philip is a wonderful human being and has vast life experience which makes his writing both incredibly interesting and emotive. Here is Philips interview...

Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you.

In New Zealand I experienced life as an accountant, credit manager, company director, shepherd, scrub-cutter, tree pruner, freezing worker, plastics factory worker, saxophonist, army driver, tour bus driver, stage and television actor and singer, builder, lecturer, facilitator for men’s groups, reporter, columnist, magazine editor, publisher, writer ...

In South Africa as an AIDS workshop co-facilitator ...

In the Australian bush as a barman, horse and camel trekker and stock-whip teacher ...

In England as a contract accountant, corporate trainer, estate manager, lecturer, singer/songwriter, website editor/writer and freelance writer …

Now that I’m back in Australia, house renovating, teaching and writing, I’m wondering what’s next!

The constant for me is A Course in Miracles, a psychological life-style course in forgiveness. Through it I have found the peace I had always been searching for - the journey to where we have always been.

To date I’ve written 17 books and have done writing in several other ways – newspaper reporter, commissioning editor, magazine columnist, magazine editor, magazine publisher, freelance writer and I’ve edited, designed and published several books for other writers.

When did you discover your penchant for writing?

In my 40s, after a silent meditation retreat, I committed to meditating for 20 minutes, twice a day for a month. As I did that, words bubbled up and I’d try to push them away

… but they wouldn’t go. They’d hang around like flies for days so I relented and started writing them down, to get rid of them. Then more would pop up so I ended up writing whatever came through my pen, without reading what I’d written. A friend suggested I read it as it was probably my story – he was right! It was a fiction and was my life! He suggested that all writers need to get their own stories out, first, in order to use as material for any further writing they do. I found I loved the process so much that I just carried on … and on and on!

What do you like to write about and why?

I just love the process of standing back and letting creativity flow. As I sit down, each day, I have the first sentence or two, but no idea what’s going to come out next. I love words, can speak several languages and see my blank page as a painter would, with its invitation to create beautiful pictures with words and emotions.

Where do you derive your inspiration from?

From life! I ran personal development workshops and men’s groups so that is mainly where my non-fiction comes from – how we can stop, listen and act on the greater wisdom we have within. My short stories (over 400 so far), songs and novels come from my life experiences. The Last Stand Down novel came from my experience of commuting to London, each morning, and of being fired as a corporate trainer for a bank as I stumbled over some dark secrets they wanted hushed up. Scars Don’t Sweat came partly from living in Ipswich, Queensland, while the massive council frauds were being unearthed and from working with men and their anger issues.

How does writing make you feel?

Filled up. I’m not sure how else to explain it. I have feelings and phrases arise in me and I feel I’m part of a team – I’m the only visible one and there’s a huge number of others with words they wish to make manifest. So I’m the hollow reed, allowing it to pour through me and … yes, I know this sounds kooky … but I feel supported, as part of a tribe that wishes to paint the world in beautiful words in order up uplift and give hope where it is most needed.

Who is your favourite author and why?

I don’t have a favourite author. At times, I’ve delved into particular books – Paulo Cuelho, Sanaya Ramon, Arundhati Roy, Ursula LeGuin, Jodie Picoult … I’m a bit peripatetic and dash in and out of them, as the moods take me. Then I move on to another.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Well done in finding writing and making the most of it. I guess I could have found it earlier but I don’t have any regrets about that. I needed to live a life in order to have a massive resource to write about later!

Do you have any other artistic/creative interests/talents?

I sing and play the saxophone and guitar.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I do no research at the start – I just start writing whatever is presented. Then, if I need some clarification, facts or names as I go along, I’ll dive into them as I need them.

What is your favourite piece of writing that you have written?

Like my “favourite” author, I have no favourite pieces. Sometimes I’ll feel in a crazy mood so will come out with something Spike Milligan might have written. Another day I might feel quieter inside and so it could be a personal development book. Sometimes there is high, serious energy so I’ll be back into a murder mystery. My favourite is the one I’m writing at the moment!

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