UPDATE 11 February 2018
Q: Hey, are you dead or what? You used to post here all the time, and you were writing a novel, and you were banging on about mental illness—
I’m okay. I have been recovering from the severe effects of completing my weight-loss project. I managed in the end to lose 67 kilograms. But it cost me dearly. I did not celebrate. It was dreadful. I was recently diagnosed with a form of anorexia nervosa. I am on a so-called “re-feeding” program to ease me back into so-called “normal” eating. It’s going to take a long time. I have not been well for a long time.
I have abandoned my draft novel-in-progress, GOOD INTENTIONS. I may come back to it. I would like to do more with that material and protagonist.
My memoir project, RANDOM ACCESS MEMOIR, is more or less finished. I have in the past week or so been working on finalising the running order of the chapters, working out which chapters to include, and doing some major rewrites on a few very difficult chapters. I will soon be sending the MS out to volunteer beta readers.
The other news in my life right now is that I’m going back to school. I have enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Writing at Edith Cowan University. This will be my third attempt at a degree, and I hope this time I can stick the landing. It would mean a great deal to me to earn a degree.
Q: Who the heck are you, anyway?
I’m Adrian Bedford. I’m an Australian writer, mostly of science fiction/crime novels, but also lately of memoir and creative nonfiction. I live in a northern suburb of Perth, Western Australia, with my wife Michelle, and my dog Freckle. At this writing (February 2018) I’m 54 years old.
Q: You’ve written a lot about mental illness here. What’s with that? Aren’t you banging on a bit?
I’m talking about my life. I’ve had bipolar disorder all my life. I can’t imagine life without it anymore than a fish could imagine life without water. I’m also talking about it in sometimes extremely personal detail because people, and men in particular, can be reluctant to talk about this illness. There has always been a stigma attached to mental illness, which is starting to shift in recent years. I am hoping to add to that effort.
So you’re a writer? What have you written that I might have read and/or heard of?
I’ve had six books published. You probably haven’t heard of them or read them, though I know some folks have.
ORBITAL BURN (2004), Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing
ECLIPSE (2005), Edge
HYDROGEN STEEL (2006), Edge
TIME MACHINES REPAIRED WHILE-U-WAIT (2008), Edge
PARADOX RESOLUTION (2012), Edge
BLACK LIGHT (2015), Fremantle Press
Q: Why the sudden urge to talk about your illness all the time?
I’m a writer who has not written anything in a long, long time. I’m now coming out of a years-long depressive phase in which I struggled with writing, and felt lousy about my career generally. I fell silent, and couldn’t imagine writing anything ever again.
Then last year, the thing I keep coming back to, I spent nearly half the year in a psychiatric hospital, a long time in which I had a lot of time to think. And I thought about writing about what I was going through, and in turn about my whole life with the illness, how it’s been part of everything I’ve done, and everything I’ve written. In ordinary daily life I do my best to appear “normal”, but inside I’m always ill. I am a fish who knows it’s in water.
Facebook Adrian Bedford
Email ambedford at westnet dot com au