I was a wide-eyed wanderer: climbing recklessly into the magic of the Faraway Tree, trudging across Africa’s scorched plains to a hidden kingdom where old Solomon had mined his staggering wealth, journeying through the starry vastness of space to gorgeous alien worlds populated by beings I had already met in my dreams. One memorable night, I stood alongside a buccaneer named Long John Silver, hearing the creak of timbers as our schooner sailed the glittering seas in search of gold, the smell of tar and rope strong in the ocean breeze, my heart lurching with fear and excitement.
And that was all before the age of ten.
Five years later, I joined a titanic, grim freebooter named Conan, a man with eyes of ice and a soul of iron. I learned about frenzied battle, dark sorcery, and primeval lust, as together we carved a swathe of legend across the ancient and beautiful world of Hyboria, crushing our enemies, destined to become kings.
The die was struck, the spell had been cast, and the magic had begun.
As I grew, and peered past the symbols to see what lay behind them, I became an earnest seeker after truth – not the superficial hypocrisy of politics, media, and religion that often passes for truth, but the immutable truth that is found apart from human deceit and agenda, the truth that is found in silence.
I instinctively gravitated toward the wisdom that Rumi spoke of when he famously wrote: “What you seek is already seeking you.”
It turned out, I’m thrilled to say, to be utterly true. As my life has evolved, many of the roads I’ve walked have been long and arduous, winding, through territories peopled by ignorance and signposted by the countless self-serving agendas of others. But if you persevere, sometimes through shattering heartache and loss, and sometimes with wild exhilaration and deep joy, the road eventually does become less treacherous, and the deeper truth and power of the Universe lies ahead of you like a shining, welcoming ocean of peace.
As a writer who majors in fantasy, my worldview is one shaped by a fascination with metaphysics, philosophy, art, hidden pattern, and the beauty of the Universe in which we all play a creative part – and the awareness that we all bear the seeds of extraordinary power, power that we all too often deny out of ignorance, fear, and because of the manipulation of those who seek to dominate their fellow human beings.
We all share the same universal attributes and building blocks of spirit, awareness, intelligence and intent, and when we truly begin to understand how our every thought and action affects everything else, the emergence of tremendous individual capacity and wisdom – that which we commonly call magic, or the law of attraction, or the power of the higher mind – is the delightful and inevitable result.
My home: I currently live in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Age: I was born in 1966 (although truthfully, I’m really only 18 inside. Or 7, depending on how much fun I’m having).
Relationships: The love of my life – and innumerable lifetimes before this one – is a my soulmate, Jenni. She’s deeply compassionate, astoundingly wise – and is the only person I know who delights with me in our own special brand of utterly silly playfulness when the mood takes us. She is my muse, my inspiration, my lover, my gravity, and my blissful portal to a magnificent universe that is far greater than I could ever have possibly imagined.
Fave books: There’s a little list at the bottom of this page. *
Fave movies: Bottom of the page, folks. **
Fave music: I have possibly the most eclectic taste in music, ever. It’s a polyglot of Enigma, Sting, tribal world music, Hindu and Buddhist chants, pagan folk music, and unusually stirring instrumentals. And that’s just the warmup section of my “writing playlist”.
Other interests: Martial arts, for a start. I’m the director of a large Krav Maga and self defence training organisation, as well as an organisation dedicated to the eradication of bullying in schools.
People who inspire me: A long list of ancient and recent historical world changers. And contemporary futurists, like Elon Musk and Peter Diamandis, among others. I’m an unashamed Tim Ferriss groupie. There are also those who are dedicated to unlocking the inner universe, like Wim Hof, ‘The Iceman’, who not only performs superhuman feats, but can control his own autonomic nervous system and immune system using breathing and willpower.
Added to the visionaries of conceptual science are innumerable people of deep spiritual and metaphysical wisdom – early scientists, mystics, yogis, alchemists, philosophers, and transcendents – who have shaped and influenced my understanding on a far deeper level as well. That, however, would be quite a list. I’ll work on it. And of course, there are legions of authors – both in the realms of fiction as well as non-fiction – who have shaped not just my world, but the world, because the transformative power of storytelling, the creative power of myth and symbol, is one of the deepest and most powerful elemental forces in existence.
Here’s a little list of some of the writing, music and movies that have greatly influenced my development as a writer, and as a human being.
1. The Ninja by Eric van Lustbader. This novel was, for me, a kind of rite of passage as a young man. A beautiful, amazing work of literary alchemy that still delivers stunning power, even decades after it was written.
2. Conan by Robert E. Howard. Of course, Howard wrote a great number of short stories about the world’s most famous barbarian, so this is a generalization. But, in my opinion, his two finest works in the genre were Across the Thunder River and Queen of the Black Coast. Timeless, primitive, powerful – like a punch to the gut. Childish? Anachronistic? Severely politically incorrect in the new millennium? Maybe a bit dated? Could be. But, by Crom, I have yet to see an author who packs so much visceral visualization into such rudely crafted stories.
3. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. No explanations or hyperbole necessary, methinks.
4. Time for the Stars by Robert Heinlein. A tale of space and time that is utterly breathtaking, charming, heartbreaking, innocent, and visionary – despite having been written decades before we even began talking about deep space exploration. This novel impacted me as a young reader in ways that still echo today. Do yourself a favour and read it, if you haven’t already come across it somewhere.
1. Quantum Warrior: The Future Of The Mind by John Kehoe. This book is the most advanced roadmap of intelligent interaction with the quantum universe that I have ever read. It’s easily understood, and offers insights into the deeper truths underlying the human plug-in to quantum consciousness. And, in a logical and concise way, it demonstrates scientific enquiry into the deep underpinnings of a Universe that is thrillingly, innately intelligent.
2. Foundations of Magic by J.F. O’Neill. If you want a book that opens a door to a world that will blow your mind, then… go find this book. As the author says: “Whether you believe in magic or not, it still works.” Some call it magic, plain and simple, while others postulate that certain sequential rituals and wordings are designed to unlock the capacity of the subconscious mind to influence events on a metaphysical level. Either way, this book is a beautiful example of how straightforward it can be.
3. Leveraging the Universe by Mike Dooley. This book is a life-changer, in every sense of the word. If you know who Mike Dooley is, well, no hype necessary. If not, then you should read this book. Metaphysics, the power of intent, psychology, higher mind, intelligent Universe, and manifestation of abundant life in ways that are utterly astonishing.
4. The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss. Tim Ferriss (I mentioned him in the ‘inspiration’ paragraph earlier on) is an entrepreneur, angel investor, blogger, martial arts champion, world record holder for all sorts of stuff (including the Tango), adventurer, traveller, raconteur, consultant to NASA… the list goes on and on and on. If you don’t know him, and you buy this book, you’ll either love me or hate me for it. (Although I’d put my money on “love me”.)
5. Tools Of Titans by Tim Ferriss. Yes, I’m a Tim Ferriss acolyte, and you need to read this book. This is the brilliance of distillation and the power of simplicity at its very best. If I had to give you a book as a gift, this would be it.
6. The Art of Happiness by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler. There are few (if any) people for whom I have greater respect than the Dalai Lama. And this book is beautiful.
(I’m going to be adding to this list in a bit)
1. A Knight’s Tale, with Heath Ledger. Simple, inspiring, and deeply allegorical for all those who’ve ever wondered if they could change their stars. Beautiful and archetypal… it’s a movie that you should see, if you haven’t already done so.
2. Blade Runner, the original with Harrison Ford and Sean Young. It raised all of life’s deepest questions at gunpoint, and the world would never be the same. For me, a lyrical and poignant life-changer. And quite possibly the most amazing interpretation ever, of an old, old story.
3. The Big Blue, with Jean-Marc Barr, Rosanna Arquette, and Jean Reno. Oh, the love. Oh, the brilliance and beauty of a poignant story. And oh, the teenage crush on Rosanna. I outgrew the crush (I think), but I never outgrew the movie. Utterly beautiful.
I’m going to be adding to this list as well… a lot.