I first encountered Everett Peacock the way many writers meet: Facebook. The online literary community is vast in its virtual variety, but we’re all instantly connected via this thing called social media.
This allows people of different backgrounds but with similar goals to share their joy, despair, confusion, disappointment, and determination with those that can best understand and relate to these types of challenges, regardless of where they happen to reside.
Of course, your immediate ambient surroundings will impact your quality of life, peace of mind, and ultimately your writing, so as the real estate dealers always say, when deciding on a home base, keep in mind these three essential factors: location, location, location.
It can make all the difference. But that includes sometimes traveling outside your comfort zone so you can explore fresh terrain, internally and externally speaking. This is how we learn and grow as people and as writers. It’s also how we can make an informed choice on where to finally hang our proverbial hats.
Unless you’re already living in your personal paradise. Then I recommend just staying put. Fully discover and dissect then artistically disseminate your own little corner of the globe. That can work wonders, too.
Case in point: say aloha to Everett Peacock, one of the nicest guys I’ve never actually met, but after reading his exotic yet easy-going work, I feel like I have. His congenial disposition and poetic sensibilities are as organic as the fruit from a tropical tree, equally rich in taste and nutrition for body, heart, mind, and soul.
My own work is much darker, but I still really appreciate Everett’s perpetually sunny and creatively positive outlook on Life, even though I prefer rain myself. I think you will find his approach equally inspirational. His own special literary formula has certainly resulted in a rare level of sustained success, especially by indie industry standards.
Now I’ll stick a little umbrella in it and get down to the beach. Surf's up!
Mr. Peacock was born on an island and continues the tradition living in Maui, Hawaii. Decades were spent living on a secluded O'ahu, Hawai'i beach, surfing, mountain biking, glider flying and throwing beach parties people still talk about - all in the name of research.
When he had to work, it was stints at the Honolulu airport as a cargo handler, Air Traffic Control radio, Airline Flight Operations Dispatcher. Part time gigs included computer programmer and an amateur lobster fisherman. Having traveled extensively to all of the Hawaiian Islands, Tahiti, Bali, Australia and a few places he has sworn to keep secret, Mr. Peacock has lived, and continues to do through his writing, a life as colorful as his name. He lives halfway up a dormant volcano flank with his wife, four kids, two dogs, some cats and a nice view. He can sometimes be found hanging out at Tiwaka's Tiki Bar & Grill. Full bibliography on his Amazon author page.
What made you want to stay indoors on a nice Hawaiian day and start writing books?
Good question, Will. Actually, it was dark outside at the time. The very MOMENT is still playing in my brain (thanks for asking!). I lived in a jungle on the east side of the Hawaiian island of Maui, and had just completed a primitive two-story tree house with a view of the palm tree crowns, the massive Pacific Ocean just beyond and the top of that big 10,000' dormant volcano just behind me. My banana garden had just produced some outstanding wonders, as if to brag, I assumed, and the resulting smoothie was firing my brain with energy. It wasn't quite dawn, but the Wi-Fi was finally broadcasting up to the tree house, the laptop was fully charged, I was nursing a bit of a hangover from having consumed two, yes TWO, Coco Loco Moco drinks the night before, and it soon became imminently clear that a Tiki Bar series would be my contribution to society. Whether they liked it or not.
What are some of your influences, literary and otherwise?
Fresh air, coconuts, lack of law enforcement, and music. Music mostly. My big "awakening" was the first day MTV came onto cable. It was 1980, I believe. There, right in front of my impressionable brain was excellent storytelling, accompanied by some of my favorite tunes. I was hooked. I needed to tell stories that well. For those of you fine readers who are younger than Apple Computer, MTV has since devolved into something entirely different. Also, another influence was my 4th grade English teacher, somewhere in the backwaters of mid-century southern California, where I was living for a year or two, who insisted that my writing samples, as beautiful and colorful as they were, and as fantastically crafted as any human had attempted, were full of run-on sentences. Bitch. Nah, she was wonderful. Whatever her name was.
How has the self-publishing option treated you?
Better than I deserve. (Not my line, I think Dave Ramsey, the financial guy says that all the time) Actually, it allowed me to get published in the first place. I'm old enough to have tried the traditional publishing route, get denied dozens of times, and still remember it. Amazon self-publishing came on that same year that I pushed The Parrot Talks in Chocolate out into the multi-verse. Kindles were new then, often called, by paper publishers, the "Devil's iPad" (wait, there weren't iPads then. I might have made that part up - writing fiction does that to you, makes it difficult to separate fantasy from reality). I changed the cover after a few weeks, using some professional art my jungle neighbor crafted, and things started to move. Then (...my 4th grade teacher's voice is yelling at me right now...from the past, in Technicolor), I entered the title into one of the Amazon free giveaway gigs and distributed 80,000 copies! You're welcome, Earth. Sales stalled after everyone who could read English had a copy. But, Tiwaka's Tiki Bar & Grill got started, and three more books followed.
Do you have any advice for those that want to pursue their own path as you have - in any field?
Don't! Unless you're a worse writer than me! Then, go for it! The competition is brutal! Actually, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it. Seriously. Books, movies, music, everyone loves storytelling...because EVERYONE HAS A STORY to tell. We RELATE to stories, we NEED stories, and thus consume them faster than I can climb a coconut palm, twist off a perfect specimen, sharpen my machete, cut off the top, add ice, vodka, a little lime juice, some more vodka and a splash of rum while singing "Beyond the Reef" in the dark, naked as the sun rises, from the top of a tree house! (arrggg, there goes the 4th grade English teacher again...). Every artist, whatever the art, should make it their duty, nay, their responsibility to ADD to the CULTURE. Cave dwellers did it. And, they didn't have vodka...
What’s next for you?
Social Security, unless I can market my titles better. That's the challenge of any artist, I guess. Getting in front of people. I try it at intersections all the time, but all I usually get are honking horns. Lately, since I'm still living in that 1980's MTV world I fell into, I'm focusing now on filmmaking. So, my big fantasy, other than winning a small Powerball lotto, is to hit the big screen where the credits say: Based on the book by Everett Peacock, Screenplay by Everett Peacock, Directed by Everett Peacock, (and because I'm a self publishing kind of guy) PRODUCED by Everett Peacock.
Good luck, mahalo, and aloha, Everett!
PHOTO: EVERETT PEACOCK