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Atulya K Bingham - Author PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 01 November 2014

Atulya K Bingham
Name / Adınız Soyadiniz
Atulya K Bingham

Occupation / Mesleğiniz

Originally from / Doğum yeriniz
Essex. ‘nuff said.  (Now living near Olimpos, Kumluca).

Family / Evlimisiniz ve çocuğunuz varmi
Single, but with grandmother olive tree, auntie agama lizard and her siblings, the owl, the squirrel, the laundry-basket toad, robin red-breast, the buzzard clan, the ant kitchen-clean-up crew, the crickets, my pine tree relatives, my guardian and protector Kangal Apo, and my dog-daughter Rotty.

What time do you get up? / Saat kaçta uyanırsınız
When Rotty begins whining or sticks her nose into my mosquito net.

What’s for breakfast? / Kahvaltıda ne seversiniz
Filter coffee, salad picked from the garden and my neighbour’s eggs.

What time do you start work? / Saat kaçta çalışmaya başlarsiniz
Work?  Urgh, what a terrible word.  I do work of course, but the word ‘work’ conjures up memories of bolted-down breakfasts, punch-in cards, snarky supervisors, Monday mornings and various other examples of corporate misery.  There are two times I begin activities that might be deemed ‘work’.  1. When I feel like it.  2. When nature gives me an ultimatum, e.g. ‘Either you plant those onions this week, or you won’t have any this year.’

What time do you stop work? / Saat kaçta işiniz biter
I stop working either because I’m bored of what I’m doing or I’m exhausted.  I really don’t have a time-table, though generally, I’m most creative in the morning, so my writing is done then.  And in the afternoon, when I’ve had enough of being inside my head, I love to build or dig.

How long have you done your current job? / Yaptiğiniz işi ne zamandir yapıyorsunuz
Job?  I used to earn my living teaching; however, about 3 years ago, I woke up and realised I simply couldn’t stand it anymore.  I was also desperate to complete my novel Ayse’s Trail, a story I’d started back in 2009.  I wondered how I’d survive.  Fortunately, I had bought a piece of land in the hills of the Antalya region.  I moved up there in a tent, and soon realised that when you live very basically you don’t need much money to survive.  I decided to set up a life there off-the-grid, without bills, and grow my own food.  While I’m not entirely self-sufficient, I almost am.  I think I could probably survive without money if push came to shove, and that’s a very empowering feeling.

Fortunately, push hasn’t come to shove.  I lived off the remainder of my savings while I finished building a small earthbag house to live in.  My money had just about run out when in April 2014 I published Ayse’s Trail.  Now, everyone will tell you no one survives on writing.  But I do.  I was also lucky.  Within two weeks of publishing Ayse’s Trail, it won the One Big Book Launch in London.  This gave the novel a fair amount of publicity and endorsement.  As a consequence, it’s doing very well and I can stay on my mountain while I write the next book.

What’s the best thing about your job? / Yaptiniz işte en sevdiği şey nedir
Creating worlds with words, and hearing the muse when she speaks.  I love writing, but it’s not a group activity.  You really need to lose yourself completely in another reality to be able to forge a story, thus writers are often not the most sociable creatures.  But writing feels as necessary to me as breathing.  If I can’t write, I become very miserable.

Describe a typical day /  Bir gününüzün nasıl geçtini anlatirmisiniz
The first thing I do, once Rotty the dog has turfed me out of bed, is walk her.  The earlier I do this, the better.  Watching the sun break over the mountains while Rotty and I trot through the forest, is a sublime way to start the day.  Once we’re back, I unroll my yoga mat and strike a pose or two, followed by a little meditation.

After that, I make a huge brunch and a pot of coffee.  Then I sit down to write.  Mornings are holy for me and I never accept visitors or appointments before 1pm.  It’s a time of introspection and creativity.  All the villagers in the vicinity now know this, so I’m fortunate to be left in peace.

By the afternoon though, I’m begin to crave a little physical activity.  My mind-juice has been used up, and the best tonic is some hard physical labour, preferably involving dirt and a shovel.  So, I either do some gardening or building.  I love natural building and get great pleasure from my one-woman construction projects.  The most difficult thing for me is cooking.  I hate it!  It really interrupts the flow of what I’m doing.  If I’m on the ball, I’ll make dinner before I start building.  But if I don’t, I find myself engrossed in a project until the light fails and then suddenly I’m starving, tired and staring forlornly at the kitchen worktop.

Do the seasons make a difference with your work?  If so, how? /  Yazın işinizde değişiklik oluyormu? Oluyorsa anlatın?
I think summer and winter on the Mediterranean are wildly different.  I actually love winter because it’s quiet, and I feel so self-sufficient.  There’s wood chopped in the shed, vegetables in the garden and fruit on the trees.  I hardly use money at all.  I often have trouble adjusting between the two seasons.  Summer arrives and suddenly the beach is crammed full of sweaty bodies, people are calling me and there seems to be lots of action.  There are great things about summer too, though. I love diving and the sea, so in summer I spend more time getting on my motorbike and driving down to the coast.  It’s also bliss to be able to throw away the wooden spoon and eat out.

What makes you happy? /  Sizi en çok ne mutlu eder
Oh so many things!  The smell of my morning coffee, plucking a nice fat pepper from the plant in my garden, sleeping under the stars, digging, the wind in my hair as I drive my motorbike through the lanes, my neighbour Dudu pinching my cheek, sitting on a rainy day with a book, living in a house I built with my own hands, my dog Rotty, making mosaics on my walls, painting stones, breathing fresh air and feeling characters for stories come alive inside me.  These are just a few of the delights I’m fortunate enough to experience.

If you were not doing this job, what else would you like to do? /  Şu anki yaptiğiniz işi yapmıyor olsaydiniz ne iş yapmek isterdiniz
Nothing. I actually took a stand when I hit 40 and refused to compromise any longer.  I just want to write, and I’ll do whatever it takes to be able to do that.

What music do you like to listen to? / Hangi müziği dinlemeyi seviyorsunuz?
The dawn chorus and Buzz in E minor by the Antalya Regional Cricket Symphony.

If you could meet anyone in the world, living or dead, who would it be, and why? / Eğer dünyada yaşayan yada yaşamayan herhangi biriyle tanışmanız mümkün olsaydı onun kim olmasını isterdiniz?
My mother.  She died when I was 13.  I wonder what she’d make of my life, and I’d like to hug her.

Tell us something about yourself that not many people know. /  Kendinizle ilgili bir çok insanın bilmediği bir şeyi anlatırmısınız
I’m fascinated by language and languages.  I speak French and German as well as Turkish and English, but I plan to learn at least a couple more.  I don’t want to die without speaking Italian.

Anything else / Başka her hangi birşey
I’ll have a stand at the Çalis Christmas fair on 7th December, so if anyone wants to meet me, get a book signed, and/or possibly listen to a reading if I grab a quiet spot, come and find me!

In the meantime, you can get details of my novel, read my articles and short stories from my author site. www.atulyakbingham.com

Alternatively, if you are on Facebook, find out the latest about the Ayse’s Trail, events, reviews and distribution points from the Ayse’s Trail Facebook page

If you’re more into nature and sustainability, you can follow my exploits in natural building and mud-mountain living from my site. www.themudhome.com

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Last Updated on Saturday, 01 November 2014