About Living, Working and Writing in Bali – Interview With Startup Founder Matt Oldfield

Work and live where other’s holiday – for Matt Oldfield this dream has come true. From the Indonesian island Bali, where he is residing with his family, he pulls the strings of his online dive travel agency ZuBlu. In our interview, he talks about his workflows and tools for managing the content of the company’s website. Also, Matt reveals what made him go to Bali and if his life is as dreamlike as it sounds.

Please tell us something about you and what you are working on.

Matt Oldfield
Matt Oldfield

My name is Matt Oldfield, I am a photographer, writer, biologist and diver based in Bali, Indonesia, although originally from the UK. I left the cold and wet behind over 20 years ago and lived in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, for more than a decade, then did a lot of traveling before ending up in Bali nearly 6 years ago. My wife is from Java and we have a beautiful daughter – Saraswati – who was born in Bali.

Having worked as a freelance photographer and writer in Bali for the last 6 years, I recently launched a new online dive travel agency – ZuBlu – for which I am responsible for managing all of the site’s written content, amongst many other jobs!

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“Writing Is a Primary Way That I Express Myself in the Larger World”

David is a teacher and administrator of his school’s science department, currently based on Long Island, New York. In his opinion, reflective practice is crucial for any educator; writing is his way to do it. Ulysses is not only his chosen tool for this but also helps him save time with his administrative chores.

Please tell us something about you and what you are working on.

David Knuffke
David Knuffke

I’m an educator currently based on Long Island in New York. After 12 years as a teacher, I became the administrator in charge of the department I taught with during September of 2016. Next year, I’m moving back into the classroom and moving with my family to Singapore. Outside of my immediate job responsibilities, I work on a lot of different things related to education more broadly.

Which role does writing play in your life?

Writing is a primary way that I express myself in the larger world. My job requires me to write quite a bit, but outside of the responsibilities that I’m paid for, I write regularly for my blog, and for other professional organizations and associations that I’m a part of.

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“It’s Hard to Love Reading and Not Also Want to Write”

Ashley Warren’s world is about writing. As a content and research strategist, she composes blog posts, newsletters, social media posts, and white papers. As as creative writer, she lets mostly female protagonists embark to fantastic adventures in imaginary worlds. In our interview, she talks about how she got into writing, self-publishing, as well as her routines and workflows.

Please tell us something about you and what you are working on.

Ashley Warren

I’m Ashley Warren, and I’m a writer and researcher in Reno, Nevada. I live here with my husband, Andrew, who is a robotics engineer, and our cat, Sofie. Daily, I wear several hats: I’m a content, UX and research strategist; a research and writing consultant; and a creative writer. I hold a Master’s degree in Literacy Studies from the University of Nevada-Reno, which helped me hone both my research and writing skills.

My brain is regularly split between logic/analysis and untamed creativity. Right now, I have two main projects for early 2018: a speculative fiction short story anthology — working title Badlands — about how people are shaped by their environments; and a cross-genre role-play game (RPG) campaign called The Fractures. RPGs — such as Dungeons & Dragons — have really changed the way I approach storytelling, since it requires a logical approach just as much as a creative one: how can players get from point A to point B in the most interesting way possible? How can I create a unique, interesting world and atmosphere that people can delve into?

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Matt Gemmell: “Writing Is Difficult, but It Feels Like a Challenge Instead of a Hardship”

Action-thriller author Matt Gemmell is fascinated with how small choices can have a profound effect on our lives – a fascination also reflected in his debut novel “Changer”, published last year. In our interview, he talks about why he switched professions a couple of years ago, never looked back since, and still does not regret the time he spent in software engineering.

Please tell us something about you and what you are working on.

Matt Gemmell

My name is Matt Gemmell, I’m a writer of action-thriller novels — amongst other things — and I live in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, with my wife Lauren and our eight-month-old labradoodle puppy, whose name is Whisky.

For a number of years, I was a consultant software engineer for various clients, including Apple, and I did a bit of tech journalism on the side. I also released a lot of open source code for iOS and the Mac, as strange as it is to think about that now.

I’m currently working on TOLL, the second novel in the KESTREL series of action-thrillers with a fringe science twist. The first book, CHANGER, came out last year.

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Pianist and Composer David Ianni: “Writing Is an Important Part of My Creative Process.”

David Ianni is a pianist and composer from Luxembourg, who wants to share his music with the world. In our interview, he talks about his latest project “My Urban Piano” and how writing plays a part in his creativity.

David Ianni
David Ianni, photo by Emile Hengen

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a pianist and composer from Luxembourg. My career began as a young piano prodigy in the mid-nineties, when I mainly performed the music of the great classical composers like Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt, although I had been composing since my childhood. But after several successful years on stage, it was absolutely clear to me that I had to pursue my path as a composer. There was such an abundance of music inside of me that had to get out. Since then, I have composed several hundreds of pieces, among them many works for piano, but also music for other instruments, for choir, for orchestra and even an opera for children. Whatever I write, my aim is always to touch people’s hearts with my music.

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Conductor and Writer Lev Parikian: “Crowdfunding Is Hard Work”

Lev Parikian
Lev Parikian
Lev Parikian earns his living as a conductor, but is also a dedicated writer. In our interview he reports what it is like to juggle between two professions, and talks about the pros and cons of crowdfunded publishing.

Please tell us something about you and what you are working on.

I divide my time between conducting and writing. The conducting keeps me busy enough, working mostly with amateur orchestras in and around the London area, but I’ve increasingly made sure I find time for writing. My most recent project is Why Do Birds Suddenly Disappear?, a tale of woeful ornithology, which will be published by Unbound in 2018.

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Vegan Blogger Patrick Bolk: “I Try to Help Make This World a Better Place”

He turned his passion into a career: The German blogger and book author Patrick Bolk successfully publishes about the vegan way of life. Read in our interview what led up to it — and have the chance to win a copy of Patrick’s book “Vegan im Job” (“Vegan at Work”).

Patrick Bolk
Patrick Bolk
Please tell us something about you and what you are working on. 

My name is Patrick Bolk, I’m 43 years old, live in Berlin and Mallorca, and I do a lot of different things. Currently I am working on a new vegan cookbook and on a ghostwriting project. I also constantly write articles for blogs. 

What is the share of writing in your working life?

I write all the time. In every project I work on, writing is my no. 1 task. Of course there are also some other things to do: research for books, taking and editing photos, or building a website. But in the end, writing is my main thing. 

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Contemporary Romance Author Lauren Layne: “Living in Manhattan Has Had a Huge Impact on My Writing Career”

Women in high heels, men in suits, sipping fancy cocktails — that’s the world of the protagonists of Lauren Layne’s “big city” romances. And it is also Lauren Layne’s world, since she’s left Seattle and her former job for pursuing a writing career in New York City. Albeit “real life” experience helps, it takes mostly hard work and perseverance to succeed in her business, as the author explains in our interview.

Lauren Layne
Lauren Layne

Please tell us something about you and what you are working on.

I’m a contemporary romance author — I tend to describe myself as writing “romantic comedies,” because my style of writing is more akin to a modern day rom-com you’d see in the theaters than it is an old-school Harlequin novel. Currently I’m working on the next book in my Stiletto & Oxford series, which is a bit like Sex & the City meets FRIENDS. It’s titled I Knew You Were Trouble, and will be available in June 2017.

In your previous life you have been working as a web marketing manager. How did you come up with the idea to become a writer?

Well, let’s just say I was one of those precocious bookworm kids who, whenever asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, proclaimed an author! Eventually, “real life,” or what I thought was real life kicked in, and I took a “real job,” first as a receptionist, then as a web marketing/e-commerce manager in my mid-twenties. I enjoyed it. I daresay I was even good at it. But I had this nagging feeling that there was more to life than dreading Monday mornings. I did a lot of soul-searching, asking myself, “If money were no object, what would you spend every day doing?” Writing was the answer every single time. And since money was a factor, I thought, “Well, I guess I better figure out how to make a living out of this!”

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“Having a Story With a Beginning, Middle, and End Will Help Give You Direction”

Bridgid Gallagher is a fiction writer, blogger, and repeated NaNoWriMo participant. In our interview she chats about her approach to writing a romance novel and shares three things that may help Wrimos through November.

Bridgid Gallagher
Bridgid Gallagher
Please tell us something about you and what you are working on.

I am a fiction writer and blogger. On the fiction side, I write magic-filled stories for children and love stories for adults. I also share information about writing and marketing for writers on my website, and just this month released my Novel Writer’s Story Workbook, which you can get for free by signing up for my mailing list.

Right now I’m getting ready for the publication of my debut, the first in a series of small-town adult romances. Here’s the blurb:

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“Being an Author Means Being in Business”

Kevin Tumlinson is a busy book author, blogger and podcast host. In our interview he reveals some details about his process and shares his best writing advice (which he thinks you’ll hate – but see for yourself).

Please tell us something about you and what you are working on.

Kevin Tumlinson
Kevin Tumlinson

I’m a full-time author, currently transitioning from writing science fiction and fantasy to writing thrillers. The thriller genre just works better with my style and with the type of story I like to tell, so I’ve been keen to move into it. My most recent book, The Coelho Medallion, is my first thriller, and it has really set the stage for the rest of my writing career! It released on 31 May, and since then I’ve seen it outsell every other book in my catalog, and garner more praise than any book I’ve written to date. So I’m thinking that my new venture is already a success! This was also the first book I’ve written entirely in Ulysses. I’ve finished a couple of previous books in the software, transferring them from Scrivener or Word to Ulysses for completion. But I wanted to do something special for my first book, and the timing was perfect for ‘Coelho Medallion.’ I’m glad of it, too! This was a brilliant experience.
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