Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Visits to Vietnam inspire an adventure into publishing

By Chris Boulous
Fairfield Champion, 3 March 2010

NEVER mind Kings Cross or Darlinghurst, Fairfield is the hub of cultural and religious inspiration according to Canley Vale author Walter Mason.

The 39-year-old released his first book, Destination Saigon: Adventures in Vietnam, on Monday.

And while he hopes his humorous travel/religious book will usher in a long and bright literary career, Mr Mason flagged the end of popular city attractions as creative outlets.

``They are dead and docile,'' Mr Mason said of places like Kings Cross and Darlinghurst.

``This area is very inspirational. The real stories are in the south-west.

``It [south west] is where it is happening today. There is a real buzz and energy in places like Cabramatta and it generates creative flair.''

Destination Saigon: Adventures in Vietnam is the culmination of a lifelong dream for the former North Queensland resident.

Ironically, he spent many of his junior years working as a book seller. Now he has his own book on the shelf after a rigorous seven-month process.

``It is very exciting. The book was the result of one of my many trips to Vietnam and travelling for three months from south to north,'' he said.

``The book is a funny and light-hearted look at Vietnam now. Modern Vietnam is a fascinating place probably the reason why I have visited countless number of times.

``So many people are obsessed with Vietnam as part of the war but Vietnam is about so much more. It's incredibly alive and a spiritual culture.''

Mr Mason, a UWS student, is also in the process of obtaining a PhD on the history of self-help books in Australia.

He hopes to publish another novel by the end of the year.

``I plan to go to Vietnam and write another book from a bit of a different angle but that is still in the planning phase,'' he said.

Picture: Wesley Lonergan, Fairfield Champion

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