There’s a curse that says, “May you live in interesting times.” These are certainly interesting times and it does feel like we’re living under a mass curse. The speed of disruption has been breathtaking. And I find myself in a double whammy situation. My two primary forms of income are being an author and being a kung fu instructor. Realistically, the bigger portion of my income usually comes via my kung fu school, and that’s been indefinitely shut down. I’m looking at a long period of little or no income beyond sporadic royalties (which are not that much, sadly, I’m no bestseller), and that is pretty terrifying.

With regard to the kung fu school, we’re looking into the possibility of running our classes streamed online to at least claw back some of that revenue, as well as providing our students with a version of normal life they can enjoy while in isolation.

Meanwhile, several income streams from my author livelihood have also been disrupted – all future events where I can hand sell books or get paid to speak or run a workshop are all cancelled or indefinitely postponed. To say things are truly fucked right now is an understatement. But, like everyone, I will persevere and there are others far worse off than me. We’ll get through this, and hopefully it’ll be as short-lived as possible before life starts to return to something resembling normal. Although, this feels like a world-changing event. Normal will have a new coat on at least after all this, if not be irrevocably altered. And that might not be a bad thing.

In the meantime, I exhort you to please support the arts and freelancers in whatever way you are able. This includes me, of course. We need the arts – especially in times of strife, we turn to them for comfort. The books you read, the shows you watch, the music you listen to, it’s all made by artists scraping by. Now we’re all scraping deeper than ever. For me personally, if you’re keen to help out, here are some things you can do:

– Buy my books, in whatever format from whatever store you favour. Supporting indie bookstores at this time is also more valuable than ever.

– Request my books at your local library, to help me sell more copies and reach more readers.

– Talk about my stuff online and wherever you can, again to help me sell more and reach more readers.

– I have a Ko-fi page, where you can buy me a virtual coffee (probably whisky, actually), if you simply want to offer some financial support.

– And this one is only for the Aussies (sorry overseas folks, international postage costs are just insane) – I have the books in the picture below here at home and I can send out signed copies anywhere in Australia. One book is AU$30 including postage, two or more books are AU$20 each plus AU$15 postage (so two books would be AU$55, three books would be AU$75, etc.) I have plenty of copies of most of them, but it’s first come, first served. To buy these, please PayPal the right amount to [email protected] and make sure you mention in the comment section which books you want, who I should sign them to, and ensure your postal address is up to date. Available books are The Alex Caine Trilogy (Bound, Obsidian, and Abduction), Hidden City, Devouring Dark, Served Cold, and Manifest Recall. (Image updated, thank you so much for the support, everyone!)

Thank you so much for anything you can do, and I hope you all come through this entire period of interesting times healthy in body and mind. It’s a trial, that’s for sure. It’s okay to not be okay – honestly, I’m struggling right now, but I’m focussing on the things I can control. It’s not much, but it helps. Above all, let’s all do our best to be kind. Let’s listen to scientists, not politicians. Big love to all.