I realised I wanted to be a storyteller when I laid down on my lounge room floor to write a short story on an A5 sheet of paper using my mother's manual typewriter, circa 1985.
That morphed into my first major work – an epic, six-part science fiction saga about a kid who goes into space to help fight in an intergalactic battle (yes, I realise how much that sounds like the premise of The Last Starfighter, which is one of my favourite movies).
In the ensuing years I've written a romance novel, an emotional courtroom drama, three fifths of a grand conspiracy thriller, a near-future military actioner, a social justice story about a student who stands up for his rights, a fictional depression memoir about a guy who goes to Africa to be an aid worker and countless more false starts and half finished projects.
After spending the first half of my working life in jobs completely unrelated to writing I figured I'd get nowhere without some professional backing or publishing credits, so in the late 90s I set about being a freelance newspaper and magazine journalist. I've since had in excess of a million words published in print and online all over the world (see drewturney.com).
Today I'm a devoted filmgoer and entertainment reporter, writing about movies on my own blog at filmism.net, and I'm a regular contributor for media as varied as Moviehole.net and US trade publication Variety.
Sometime in the early 1990s I was crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge on foot when I felt it move around me. Whether it was from a sudden heavy gust or the passing of a heavy vehicle, it was (in the words I used at the time to describe it to myself) 'fucking scary'.
Caught up in that most exciting of mental pursuits common to writers – 'what if?' – the train of thought that ensued produced the premise of an engineering disaster in which the bridge collapses with hundreds of people on it. The plot would be set 20 years later and centre on a man who'd been badly hurt in the accident but had recovered and was trying to get on with his life in peace.
But the souls of those killed in such terror years before would have other ideas...
Over the course of the next couple of years Falling grew. It evolved into a classic haunted house tale with monsters, apparitions and ghouls, but set in a time and place we'd never seen before – the hustle and bustle of a big city in the near future.
After a few attempts at sending it to publishers worldwide that bore little fruit, I rewrote it over the next few years, tried some publishers again, then rewrote it a bit more, never quite able to let go.
At some point I decided to self publish, spending real money getting it designed and printed so I could hawk it to bookshops myself. The typical income of a freelance journalist was probably never going to allow for that, so with the rise of the Amazon, iBooks and the ebook revolutions, the time seemed right.
And so, over 25 years later and after one more final and very sweeping rewrite, please enjoy Falling.
- Drew Turney