There is a well to which a writer can visit. He needs that resource to make his descriptions vivid, his emotions real, his dialogue believable. The well can be filled with life experiences, his reading, formal education, or simply an inquisitive mind. We've all read prose that tells the story, but does not inspire when the well is too shallow.
This week, my guest is Kev Richardson, a man with a very deep well, indeed. I'll let him tell you about it, himself.
Kev Richardson, historian, novelist, biographer…
Why did an Australian retire in Thailand?
It’s a question often asked. I had taken early retirement and being alone, sold up my Melbourne home, moving to my Gold Coast ‘weekender’. My plan was simple; live life surfing in the sun while writing my country’s convict history. At my writing club, the editor of our local paper, learning of my considerable business travels, soon had me writing a weekly travel column. He introduced me to a London agent who bought travel articles for resale to Airline Magazines across the world.
“Wow!” At sixty-one, I went back to school to earn a Journalist ticket, then for three months in each of the next eight years, travelled abroad with camera and tape-recorder. For each next three months I wrote articles for airline magazines, leaving six months of summer to write novels and beach-bum. Retirement was great!
When my London agent died, so did that routine, yet I had a mountain of exciting notes to turn into novels. My literary agent urged me to take leave of absence from all commitments, to go somewhere quiet to ‘just write’. I was ready for a two-year sojourn and chose Thailand because living was so cheap. I rented a furnished nine-room Thai house for $265 a month!
In the Himalayan foothills, the tempo of life was bewitchingly calm and I began realising many benefits were embedded in Asian culture. On reaching retiring age at ‘home’, I harboured a sense of being considered a nuisance by not only the country’s administration, but by its youth. In Asia, the older one becomes, the more respect and admiration is given you from the very young, through teenage to adulthood. I found it a welcome surprise.
On going ‘home’ after a year, to see how much my grandchildren had grown, and they had, of course, I again felt, out of doors, ostracised. I missed Chiang Mai! And one can write anywhere! Especially in a land where I pay no taxes! I sold my home and car and paid out the mortgage on my son’s house. I visited them on two more occasions, but now, they visit me!
Having recorded copious notes while travelling from the south to north of Africa, through the Middle East, absolutely devouring Europe for which I’d always yearned to see every square inch, through the South Sea islands and South America from north to south, I experienced wonderful adventures—each to become a basis for travel-adventure novels.
Today, at the birth of my eighteenth happy year in Thailand, I continue writing. My two most recent novels have been awarded by my reviewing company, Ten Stars out of Five! – their first ever awards over 5 Stars, so my head is in the clouds! In January 2014, my twentieth novel is to be released, and on 1st March, my twenty-first.
I can assure readers, that ‘retirement in Thailand’ is a truly wonderful time of life!
Read synopses, awards and reviews of my works at www.kev-richardson.com.