Author David Nesbit was drawn to return to Indonesia.
Upon his settlement and new life, he met wonderful characters who have inspired tales of several published books now available in bookstores and online. Indonesia Expat got the chance to chat with David, where he shares his upcoming projects, insights into his books, and of course, inspiration.
Hi David! We’d like to know more about you. Why did you make the move to Indonesia?
Hi there. I first came to Indonesia in 1990 for a holiday as part of a journey traveling around the world. I stayed in Bali for a while, met many wonderful people there, and had an insight into the culture and lifestyle. A couple of years later, I returned for a little bit longer and I was fortunate enough to meet and fall in love with a wonderful young Indonesian lady who would ultimately become my wife. Upon marriage a year later in 1993, we decided to settle in Indonesia and I’ve been here ever since.
You are the author of several books based on stories set in Indonesia, incorporating the people and culture. Has the country become your “muse”?
Yes, I think so – at least to a certain extent. They say you should write about what you know, and I think after almost three decades living here, I have a bit of an insight into Indonesia now. I like to write from the viewpoint of someone who has been lucky enough to meet many wonderful characters in my time here.
Would you agree that your books depict insights into Indonesia from an expat’s general perspective?
Well, possibly, but don’t think I would like to offer up the idea that I am speaking on behalf of the expat community or its collective perspective as a whole. I would rather say that my ideas are sometimes from my own feelings as an expat.
Twilight in Kuta explores love, loss, and infidelity in present-day Indonesia from the perspectives of multicultural characters. Did Bali’s notorious love scene inspire you?
Yes, again to a certain degree. Although the title does reflect Kuta and Bali, it should be pointed out that happenings in the story were not really that connected with the Island of the Gods or its people. It was more a cautionary tale of an expat who finds himself trying to adapt and come to terms with life in Indonesia away from the bright lights of the holiday areas.
Congratulations on releasing Return Ticket to Jakarta: An Indonesian Home from Home! Tell us about the writing process.
Thank you. It was a project that took a little longer than it perhaps should have done, at least partly due to procrastination. However, once I got into it I felt the story begin to flow quite naturally again. It was a little different in as much as this book was more abstract and less based upon my own personal experiences. That made it a little bit more challenging in some ways to complete.
What’s the takeaway you’d like your readers to have from reading your books?
I’d like to think that those reading my books would, first and foremost, simply enjoy them. I think some of the characters and events might resonate with those who have lived or traveled through Indonesia, while those who are yet to have that pleasure might find them illuminating in some small manner and so motivate them to give Indonesia a whirl.
Can you give us a glimpse of your upcoming project?
Thanks for asking! I have just completed a collection of short stories all based in Indonesia. This is a diverse collection and tells various tales of myriad personalities and characters, all with a vested interest in life within the archipelago. The stories are all separate and not connected in any way. In addition, I’m about halfway through my next novel which is also Indonesia-based.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
I think the most important thing to do is to switch your mind off from everything going on around you and to write frequently. You don’t need to write much, and you certainly shouldn’t worry too much about the context in the beginning. Just enjoy yourself and let your feelings and thoughts flow. Set yourself small targets – maybe 50 words at a time – and try to keep to them. If you feel life is getting in the way and you’re tempted to use these distractions as an excuse to procrastinate, fight this feeling. It won’t take much in terms of time or effort to write 50 words, no matter how tired or busy you are, but you’ll get a sense of achievement which will, in turn, motivate you to write further.
Where are your books accessible?
The first book, Twilight in Kuta, is probably more widely accessible at the moment as it is available in paperback in Periplus, Books and Beyond, WH Smith, and Kinokuniya in Indonesia and neighboring countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, and China. It is also available from various online outlets in both ebook format and paperback. These outlets include the following;
How can our readers reach out to you?
I have my Instagram account at @daveynesbit https://www.instagram.com/daveynesbit/ and my Twitter account is David Nesbit @davidnesbituk, and a Facebook account at Daves Books and Writing Things https://web.facebook.com/davesbooksandwritingthings.
Finally, I can personally be reached through email at [email protected].