Bargara resident Geoff Blackwell has always had a passion for writing, and while he is an optometrist by trade, has spent much of his spare time over the past five years creating his new novel.
Geoff recently published The Four Baristas of the Apocalypse which follows his characters on a camping trip that ultimately leads to their fate in becoming the Earth's last defenders after an alien invasion.
He said the novel took him about two years to write and was inspired by his love for similar genres.
“As a long-term fan of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, I'd always wanted to write something in the genre of humorous science fiction, and as I'm also a long-term fan of coffee, an alien invasion story with baristas as the heroes seemed to make sense,” Geoff said.
“After all, if a good cup of coffee can save your day then it stands to reason a barista could save the world.
“It took me about two years to write the story, although it would have been faster if I had not become distracted by writing another book along the way.”
The novel has received such success that Geoff was invited to pitch it to producers for screen adaptation at the Gold Coast Film Festival.
“The pitches took place at the Gold Coast Film Festival in April, however due to work commitments I unfortunately could not make it in person and instead pitched via Zoom,” he said.
“Two of the producers have requested the full manuscript to read and I'm currently waiting on their responses.”
Not only did Geoff pitch the novel for screen adaptation, but he also received a Watty Award on the Wattpad site.
The Watty Awards are held each year to help writers progress their careers.
“The book won a Watty award on the Wattpad writing website in 2018 and I was one of 60 winners out of approximately 360,000 entries, which was a significant moment for me,” Geoff said.
“It bolstered my self-belief and helped me feel I was making progress on this whole writing thing.”
Geoff said he had other books in the pipeline that he was hoping would also be published in the future.
“I have written three other novels so far, and one of them is currently in development with an Australian publisher,” he said.
“It's a fantasy adventure for younger readers called The Blade.”
The Four Baristas of the Apocalypse is targeted to adult readers, although Geoff believes those in their teens would also enjoy the book.
“The novel is targeted towards adult readers, but apart from the whole end of the world, it's quite family friendly,” he said.
“I'd like to think anybody 12 and up should hopefully get most of the jokes.”
The book is available locally at Dymocks bookstore and can also be bought on Amazon in both paperback and eBook formats.
Geoff thanked Bundaberg Writers Club and Queensland Writers Centre for their ongoing support, encouraging any other budding writers to check out both groups.
You can find out more about the book here.
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