Arrival

By September 12, 2012Uncategorized

Welcome to my website! 

I am very pleased to finally be launching this site!  Another milestone hit on the road to publication. The past few months have been quite a ride and certainly a steep learning curve. It sounds cliched, but only in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would reach this point.  Even despite my aspirations, it’s taking some time to get used to the idea of calling myself a ‘writer’ or an ‘author’.  It feels strange – and it will, I think, until my debut novel ‘AURORA:DARWIN’ is finally released.

I’ve always been a dreamer and I’ve always loved creative writing.  English was my favourite subject in school, purely because I was allowed to let my imagination run wild and then be graded on it.  Even as far back as primary school, I remember being set the task of writing a story, and finding myself scrawling endlessly while the other kids around me struggled to get past their first page.  I don’t know why, it was just one of those things that always sat comfortably with me.

The only thing that seems to equal my love for writing, is my love for film.  Funnily enough, I’ve always considered my stories to be ‘movies written as novels’.  I wrote my first novel-length story in primary school (although it was probably more a novella in length – hey, I was 11 years old!).  I still have the story and look back at it from time to time.  There was action, thrills, killer sharks, bad guys with guns, and even a bit a romance thrown in.  Hmmmm, maybe one day I’ll breathe new life into it…….

By the time I was fourteen I was a complete movie-head and when I wasn’t watching the latest Bruce Willis or Sylvester Stallone film, I was working on my ‘movies written as novels’.  While most kids were down the beach on their school holidays, I was at the desk in my room happily typing away, getting lost in my dreams (note to self – may have just outed myself as a nerd here).  So enamoured with film was I, that I moved to Perth to study film/television & creative writing at university.  It opened up a whole new world of opportunity, and my imagination ran wild with the possibilities.

I soon realised, however, that very few made a decent living from the ‘Arts’, so I began a long journey down the administration path, and spent most of my twenties being a devoted groupie for my boyfriend’s rock band.  Still, as time wore on, I grew restless and realised that there was something within that was left unsatisfied.

On a whim, I packed up and moved to London at the ripe old age of 26.  AND I LOVED IT!  Amazed by the opportunities available, I started doing film & tv ‘Extra’ work in a desperate need to satisfy my creative desire and work in film. I appreciated every second I spent on a film or tv ‘set’.  While the other Extras around me would whinge and whine about how long it was taking to set up a shot, I would sit there smiling to myself, absolutely loving watching the crew at work doing their thing, pleased just to be a part of the production.

When I returned to Perth, I immediately signed up with a talent agency, did the occasional commercial or documentary, and sought out my own Extra work on films.  I started to see that even in Perth, a fraction of the size of London, there were still opportunities if you looked for them.  It inspired me and made me realise that you really could be anything you wanted to be – no dream was ever out of reach. All it took was determination, persistence, and hard work.

I’d been back in Perth about three years when I experienced my first ‘thunderbolt of lightning’, which set me on my current path.  I was watching the 2008 Oscars and saw Diablo Cody win Best Original Screenplay for ‘Juno’.  And I remember thinking to myself, ‘See what can happen if you just give things a go?’  She’d blasted in from nowhere, and swooped out with Oscar gold!

So that gave me the kick up the ass to get started. Up until that point all my stories had been floating around and fighting for space inside my head.  I plucked one of the many stories I’d been working on ‘up there’, sat down, and began to write my screenplay.

But I couldn’t get past the first page……

Despite the success I had at Uni, I found writing the screenplay incredibly hard.  Why?  Because in my mind the screenplay didn’t allow me to express all that I wanted to convey in telling the story.  So I tried a different tack.  I decided to write my ‘movie as a novel’.  I figured I would get the story out that way, and then later on down the road, I’d work on the screenplay.

So I started writing this story.  It was about a character called Captain Saul Harris, an African American soldier in his early forties…….then I switched perspectives to another character called Corporal Carrie Welles, a caucasian Australian sharpshooter in her late twenties……..And I wrote and I wrote.

And I couldn’t stop.

I found myself coming home from a full day’s work and writing for hours.  I’d go to bed late and then not be able to sleep for hours, as I was unable to switch my brain off from the story (rehashing scenes and developing new ones).  I’d get up in the morning, tired, go back to work, and do it all over.  The story kept me going, and I just kept on writing.  And then finally the story came to an end.

But it didn’t really.

It grew.

And one book, became two, which became three, which became four…….The story evolved, my characters evolved, and I couldn’t bring myself to leave them because they hadn’t finished their journey yet (and what a journey it is!).  I re-read the stories, re-edited the stories, and I couldn’t stop reading them!  The story never got old for me.  I was still excited to read it every time, loved my characters even more, and couldn’t help but wonder if other people would feel the same way too?

And then suddenly I had an ephiphany.

THE epiphany.

I suddenly realised that my life had come full circle.  What I had started in primary school and spent my early teen years doing, was suddenly happening again.  I’d started out writing all those years ago, before venturing into studying film, then spending time on sets, then finding my way back to writing again.  And it was as though I finally realised what I was meant to do in life, that I had finally found my path.  Thus, the lightning had struck again.

And so, on I wrote, more comfortable and surer than I’d ever been before.  I realised that this was something that would never die, and I shouldn’t keep it hidden any longer.  So I released the beast from it’s cage, and let it run free……

And I’ve never, ever, been happier.

Stay tuned for my Next Big Thing post coming soon!

About Amanda Bridgeman

Amanda Bridgeman is a Tin Duck Award winner and an Aurealis and Ditmar Awards finalist. She studied film & television/creative writing at Murdoch University (BA Communication Studies) and has been published by Angry Robot and Pan Macmillan (Momentum Books).

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