We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Hidden in the Light author Ian Cameron Wood...
Why are you so passionate about the written word?
Stories are made of words. The way the words are put together makes a story either bland or interesting. Everybody's story can be told in an interesting, engaging way even for those who think their life & story is dull. In the same way, jokes can be told in ways using words to make the humour funnier or zanier & more alluring & therefore, more interesting.
For the spoken word, this is especially true - the delivery determines the success or failure of the words that are being spoken. The writing of a story, when the author or poet is aware of the power of authenticity, fantasy or cryptic nuances & the weaving of these & many other elements, is powerful & passionate. Words don’t just tell stories, they convey emotion, conjure visions, fire the imagination & have the power to take us on a journey.
Aside from writing, do you have any other creative interests?
I also paint & draw & have had exhibitions in Australia & overseas. My work is mostly abstract but highly detailed with intricacies of explorable visual depth. I love creating art because it is a safe place for me & is without any mental or emotional pressure. I also play music (on instruments) but mostly just for my own sense of well-being & not to audiences these days.
Hidden in the Light is your debut novel. Can you share with us the journey of it coming to be?
Writing the story began in November 2006. I had no specific direction, no formula, no plan, no character studies & no timeline. It is a story that evolved from dark, lonely & deeply troubled places in my inner being due to betrayal & abuse against me in a church setting.
This abuse was emotional, mental, verbal & spiritual causing me to lose my identity. I became unrecognisable to myself. I was lost in a very deep, dark lonely place with no possible means of escape. Drawing, painting & writing were the mediums that brought me back to the surface only to discover I was in an unrecognisable landscape or ‘lifescape’, if you prefer.
It’s been 20 years since my life ‘ended’ & it is only in the last 6 months that I have gained any self-confidence or self-esteem that offers any hope. I have attempted to channel my extreme anger into the creative endeavours of art, poetry & story-telling with joy & dignity. Hopefully, I have at least gone part-way to that end.
What are you writing now?
Currently, I am writing my 2nd novel and 2nd book of poetry & short stories. I think I’m about half-way into both the novel & the poetry book. I’m hoping to be finished both by July/August 2021.
The novel is different to the first one in many ways, but it is still very topical, confrontational, hard-hitting & honest with its characters, none of which are me. This is unlike Hidden in the Light in which all three main characters have aspects of myself entwined within them.
What does the future hold for Ian Cameron Wood, author?
More stories & hopefully many years to write them all.
For Ian Cameron Wood, the man, the father, the grandfather, the brother, the cousin, the uncle & friend to many, hopefully many more years of love & laughter.
For Ian Cameron Wood the victim, hopefully, little time to give further attention to past troubles.
Can you share with us a fun fact?
Do you mean about myself?
Well, there was a time I opened my mouth only to change feet. But it has been many years since I could reach my feet with my mouth so I guess I’m pretty close to perfect now.
What other work have you published?
My first book of poetry & short stories, ‘the ends don’t meet’ was self-published & released in August 2018. I’ve been published in some anthologies, magazines & newspapers here and also in England.
Have you got a favourite book of all time?
Not really. I suppose I could say The Bible, but my early reasons have drastically changed although the book is still remarkable in so many ways, most of which I did not know until 4 - 5 years ago.
I think I have mostly found that the book I am currently reading is the best. For now, that is ‘A Bone of Fact’ by David Walsh, the developer/owner of MONA in Hobart, Tasmania. The book is full of wonderful insights, not just into David, but interestingly, also into ourselves & myself.
But I’d also add the following books to my list: On the Road by Jack Kerouac, Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out by Timothy Leary, Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein, The Downward Ascent by Edna Hong, Chronicles Volume One by Bob Dylan & Why Dylan Matters by Richard F. Thomas.
Have you got a favourite band/song?
Far too many to single out one. But I would have to put The Beatles at the top of the list. But add Bob Dylan, Dire Straits, Santana, Tommy Emmanuel, Dutch Tilders, Bob Culbertson, Pat Metheney Jethro Tull, The La De Da’s, Buffalo Springfield, Donovan, Moby Grape & The Who.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Firstly, I would say, don’t do it. Secondly, I would say, don’t give up.
The first piece of advice is true whether it’s your first novel or any number of others later. Don’t do it because it can be a process that is extremely difficult to navigate, causes immense frustration and self-doubt & convinces you that you have probably gone crazy.
Second piece of advice is - you probably have gone crazy, but don’t give up because of that, even if it takes 14 years. Staying the course, persevering, finishing…these are the end goals, this is where the reward is regardless of whether you get published & regardless of any meagre income or none at all. Probably 99% of writers make next to nothing but that’s not why we write…well, not entirely.
You can check out our launch day celebration interview below.
You can purchase your copy of Hidden in the Light here or at your preferred online retailer or Australian bookstore via our supplier Brumby Sunstate.