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Yes … I do my own stunts.

writing spot So you thought writing was for bookish types? People who like to sit in front of a computer with their uggies on – day in, day out? Or perhaps you thought writing was for stay-at-home mum’s who have run out of Mills and Boons and are looking for something else in life?

That’s where you’re wrong.

Penning a great story involves hours of planning, internet roaming, library stalking, book reading, sleepless nights and copious cups of tea or coffee – depending on your weakness. Until finally sitting down in front of the laptop, fingers poised, mind racing, it’s time to start that great new story. Exciting stuff. Definitely not for the faint hearted, or nerdy types prone to hovering in the aisles of your local library.

We writers are adrenalin junkies!

That’s right, writing involves adrenalin. Lots of it! Not dissimilar to high risk sports like white river rafting and base jumping. But the adrenalin of writing doesn’t begin with the first brush of the keystrokes. No, the excitement has started well before that, during an event loosely called research! And doing research means, in my case, that new Hollywood trend, doing your own stunts.

Bats in trees from ShelleyFor example, how else would I find out about deadly bats* for my newest story, Spud & Charli?  Yes, that’s right, I had to tromp through a bat colony myself, trying to ignore the smell, the noise, the mossies and the risk of getting any number of the infamous bat viruses that the media believes are rampant in all bats.

All in the name of research.

Then there were the cassowaries. Braving the bats was nothing compared to tackling cassowaries. They’re not listed as the world’s most dangerous birds for nothing. Have you seen the size of those giant claws? I could have been ripped to shreds in seconds – that is if I’d actually seen a wild cassowary **.

And I assure you, it was only for research, that I braved the wilds of Ecuador to get up close and personal with the famous Galapagos tortoise. Those babies were massive! Slow moving I know, but easily able to crush a girl with one giant death roll.

100 year old plus some

So, I’ll leave you with this thought. Harlan Ellison is quoted as saying “Anyone can become a writer … the trick is to stay a writer … ” I think we all know what he’s saying, right?

To write is to live on the edge.

 

*Note to readers: the author of this blog is prone to exaggeration. The bats were not actually deadly. Very few bats actually carry Lyssavirus or Hendra virus, and seeing as she didn’t touch any, and wasn’t bitten or scratched, she is unlikely to have been in any risk.

** Perhaps we should clarify … the author thought she heard something like a cassowary, while visiting the rainforests around Mission Beach, and although she wasn’t 100% sure it was one, she ran like the clappers back to the car. She will be unlikely to admit this, even if hard pressed.

About Samantha Wheeler

Australian Children's Writer.

2 responses »

  1. Dimity Powell

    Hill Ar Ri Ous! Amazing author, champion of animal causes and now touches of Wonder Womaness too? Outstanding Sam. Hope the Stunts department paid you well for living on the edge. D

    Reply
  2. Great read Sam. So entertaining. Love your style and the tremendous encouragement it gives to all writers.

    The Stunt Support Crew

    Reply

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