Some adventures just won't let you go until they are there in black and white for all to see. I always knew that the journey contained in 'Beyond The Comfort Zone' was a story worth the telling. But, to be honest, by the time I landed in California pretty fresh from not only my experiences in the book but also the horrors of the Asian Tsunami, I was pretty fried. Writing a book about the whole affair was the last thing on my mind.
The idea for the book first presented itself as an uncomfortable conscience. Hollywood is a land of seemingly limitless opportunity where a creative talent can find many outlets and avenues to success, it is also a land of plenty and excesses. This was the world I found myself in. A life of Aston Martins and Maseratis, of lunch in Beverly Hills and weekends in Malibu, and whilst this was new and exciting (who doesn't like driving around in a Maserati!) I felt a deep consuming guilt that those events now portrayed in the book would be forgotten.
Not only was the story worth telling, I gradually came to the conclusion that I absolutely must tell it. Before I left Thailand I had made a promise to myself that if I had the opportunity to help those in need I would take it ( read more about that here) It seemed that the time was right to take the first steps along the hard road to fulfilling that neglected promise.
How to begin though, and could I actually write a book? The moment I chose to begin with was my most vivid memory of the adventure. Standing on a bridge, my heart pounding, my mouth dry realising that the next few moments could be the last moments of freedom I ever saw. If I ever thought I knew what happiness was, I am certain I know what real undiluted fear tastes like.
I suppose I thought that during the process of writing the book some kind of cathartic cleansing would have occurred. It didn't. All it seemed to do was transport me back to the heat, back to those flashes of jeopardy. Whenever I sat down to write, in my mind I was right back there, could feel the blade against my skin and smell the air and the fragrances it carried. This was one of the reasons the book took nearly two years to complete. I put off for the longest time sitting down to write the final calamitous chapters, not wanting to feel those feeling or have those images once more in my head.
However I am nothing if not persistent, and eighty two thousand three hundred and sixty one words later, I did finally put the last full stop in place. There are moments of laughter, great joy and of course sadness along the way. But, I feel proud to say that, at least for a moment in time I was a good man, did a good thing and lived to tell the tale.
I hope you enjoy reading 'Beyond The Comfort Zone'.