Interview with Darren Drake

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a fairly new suburb on the edge of farmland. So as a kid I rode my bike all day, everywhere. Built underground huts, climbed trees, swam in lakes. My imagination & dreams roamed these places & still do.
When did you first start writing?
I loved creative writing classes all through school. When I was 17 I read Jim Morrison's "The Lords/ The New Creatures" which inspired me to start keeping a journal. The words baffled me. Writing felt like a key to unlocking secret worlds.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Expressing colorful, infinite experiences.
Who are your favourite authors?
Stuart Wilde, Isobelle Carmody, Terrence McKenna, Patricia A. McKillip, Rimbaud. Nietzsche. Tolkien, Borges, Emily Dickinson, Colin Wilson.Taoist writers. Zen. Buddhist writings. I just discovered Pablo Neruda; and Diana Gabaldon expresses an astonishing range of minutiae in her "time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres” that reveals an overwhelming joy in taking storytelling risks.
What is your favourite occupation?
Discovery.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Developing inner calm. Meditating using metronomes & intuitive guidance. Maintaining a Quality "Food is Medicine" diet. Watching documentaries on natural health, spirituality, esoteric & ancient world teachings.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
When I was twelve I wrote an epic re-telling of "Doctor Who and the Dalek Invasion of Earth" featuring my school mates.
What is your writing process?
I listen to people, places, & memories then record what feels poignant. Nestling in silence helps me learn to listen Within. Otherwise I've no idea how to write. I just like doing it for the pleasure of discovery. Sometimes a rare name, a made-up name, or a word can set me off on a long meditation into its origins. Dreams often provide me with incredible material to explore. Reading back over material set aside for a few months, or years, sometimes helps discover a worthwhile perception. The more I write, the more I feel I'm searching to bring an ancient memory into a state of completion.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything written by Stuart Wilde is easy, funny, and deeply transformational. I'm always reading something of his.

Diana Gabaldon makes me belly laugh & provides deep POV through her non-linear fiction.

Howard Zinn's, ‘A People’s History of the United States' is probably the best history book I can remember reading. So I know Howard Zinn flew to Vietnam as a diplomat to bring home a U.S. prisoners-of-war, during that War.

I recently read Plato's "Phaedrus" all the way through. So good to read things first-hand to get a personal feeling about an author. It's like The Bible - everyone has an opinion, but who has actually read it first-hand? I knew Robert M. Pirsig used a Phaedrus motif, so I wanted to know what Plato was doing with that name 2000+ years ago. Basically, I found Plato attempting to put into words his experiences with various "Muses". That's the metaphysics I like - deep Psyche exploration.
What is your most treasured possession?
My curious imagination.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Travelling. Being deep in an ancient forest. Easy silence between friends.
Where would you like to live?
Now. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember the title, yet I remember the feeling of the first book I was able to read alone. I felt like a god - I might have been 7 years old - I could read! I carried that Little Golden Book around with me for days, and just kept reading it over and over. I remember insisting on reading it to my mother and father, and the incredulous look on their faces - one part happiness, one part bewilderment. In truth, I might have been following the words with my finger, observing the pictures of a king and a princess, and making up my own story.... I just remember being absolutely convinced I could read any printed matter in that moment. And so I began to do so. Mathematics books and numbers baffled me though. Still do. But I can see mathematics as the language of nature in a deeply ecological, metaphysical sense.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Not knowing what the time is.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Spiritual teachers who can bring the best and worst out in me without judgement. So I can see the problem and sort out solutions for myself.
When or where were you happiest?
Right now.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Blistering speed of accurate perception.
What is your current state of mind?
Acceptance. Inquiry.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Two things: To develop the compassion of Kwan Yin, and the effortless skill of Achilles.
Who are you favourite heroes of fiction?
Claire Fraser. Jamie Fraser. Galadriel. Elspeth Gordie. Yoda. Li Mu Bai. Driz'zt Do'Urden.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Teaching myself to play guitar. Being still long enough to develop new perceptions of this world.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Animals.
What is your motto?
Be free. Love life. Explore multidimensionality.
Published 2017-12-13.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Mist Tree
Price: Free! Words: 5,170. Language: English. Published: March 27, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Spiritual, Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical
Trees can be symbolic of our true selves at deeper levels of awareness. Enter a world of poetry, branches and leaves that walk among the treasures and wastes of our collective consciousness. Poetry written in the loose style of Rimbaud about current world events, travelling inner and outer worlds to create an idiosyncratic lexicon.
New Sphinx
Price: Free! Words: 5,460. Language: English. Published: March 20, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Spiritual, Fiction » Inspirational
The New Sphinx poems call to an ancient part of our selves, to the depths of a forgotten natural balance to a child's trust in our powerful imagination, un-adult-erated by Systems of Control. We explore the world with a soft eye and feel inner worlds as multidimensional experiences. Through meditation and a personal quest for knowledge in daily life and nightly dreams, we offer these poems to you.