about claudio

Page last updated: 25 January 2014

Claudio was born in the Free Territory of Trieste – a city about 160 kilometres east of Venice.  This Free Territory ceased to exist 3 years later, in 1954 when the city and the surrounding territories were annexed to Italy, but by then my parents had long since whisked me off to Australia.
Castel Verde -15th March 1954

Family mythology insists that I astonished everyone within hearing range on the day of our departure by reading out loud the individual letters that made up the name of the ship Castel Verde.  The photo on the right is an archive photo of that day –  I’m somewhere  in there … but being two at the time, I have no recollection of the incident.

Unfortunately that was the last demonstration of genius on my part and while I’d like to say that writing came just as easily as reading, the honest truth is that it did not.  By the time I was a teenager (and back in Trieste once again) I developed a healthy obsession with science fiction.  My desire to become a writer was born.

It is one thing to desire something and quite another to act upon that desire and do what it takes to manifest it.  Being essentially lazy didn’t seem to help and it soon became clear to me that writing (or at least, writing well) was hard work.  Years flew past and became decades.  The 15 year old who wanted to become a writer suddenly found himself in a 56 year old body and the goal was still nowhere in sight.

Oh, I dabbled, but in erratic bursts, mostly when I forgot how hard writing was, or when the mood took me and refused to be denied.  But I felt a long way away from my ambition: I wanted to conjure up worlds and vistas and exciting experiences for my avid readers, but the sad truth was that I did not have the skills.

To cut a long story short, my experience in becoming a writer was a long and painful journey, one dotted with the odd gratifying experience but for the most part marked by feelings of inadequacy and failure, by disillusionment and an enduring fear that I would never reach my goal.  Still I persevered, attended writing groups, struggled with stilted prose and with overwriting, with inadequate characterization and lousy dialogue, learning to apply an uncompromising slash-and-burn approach to editing.  

It was not all bad.  During those years I managed to produce a few short stories, a substantial novella that won me a $5000 grant (could have done with a few more of those) and a large chunk (300 pages) of a partly finished first draft that I may or may not revisit one day.

What I recognise now, with that easy wisdom that comes from hindsight, is that each piece of writing, regardless of its actual merits, was a stepping stone that slowly but surely brought me closer to my goal.

There is more: life experience is something that can’t be replaced with imagination; we either have it or we have to acquire it.  Travelling is a great teacher, but so is plunging into the depths of emotional upheaval, going through a suicidal phase, spending time alone in nature, working with schizophrenics, and so many experiences I’d be hard put to count.

As those who have read Illiom will recognise, my life has been blessed with numerous spiritual experiences.  These have ranged from living in ashrams and practising meditation for a decade, to embarking on a shamanic apprenticeship, participating in and facilitating countless sweat lodges and a number of vision quests.

My spiritual rebirth began back in 1983 and is still continuing.  The experiences that I’ve had since then are inevitably finding their way into my books and stories.  I’d be mad not to use them for, to me they are as powerful and real as the experiences of enduring friendship and the travails of committed relationships.  Without those experiences I would be lost, back at the beginning, navigating without a rudder and getting beached on banks of sand in shallow waters. 

So my ‘day job’ as a healer and a shamanic practitioner has supplied me with a lot of wonderful material to tap into: a bottomless well of arcane wisdom that I am not frightened to draw from.  In fact this has become the main reason behind all of my writing: to entertain while guiding the reader towards some powerful liminal experiences of his or her own.

So, aside from writing, Sa (my beloved wife)  and I run a healing centre called Sacred Radiance in the hills at the outskirts of Perth, Western Australia.  Here I indulge in all the arcane pursuits that I have mentioned as well as seeing clients on a private basis.  

But my main goal right now is to complete Keys of Awakening and then to launch myself into Forbidden Lands, the third and final volume in Destiny of Fire.  What blows me away is that I am living the adventure as I am writing it.  Illiom’s experiences are also mine and I am so incredibly grateful for the gifts that I have been granted.

 

Keys of Awakening is here!

Keys of Awakening is here!

- - - - - And now available for purchase - - - - -

KEYS OF AWAKENING HAS BEEN PUBLISHED!

Posted 20 September 2015

Well, it's finally done!
The second volume in Destiny of Fire is out.

I've started to deliver and post out all the books to those of you who have so generously supported me in the Pozible crowd-funding venture.

If you haven't received your copy yet, you will soon enough.

I hope you enjoy the book and will give me some feedback - I've put a lot of love and energy into it.
May it reach and inspire every one of you.

And once again: thank you.