David Kotok was inspired to write whilst living and working in Jakarta, Indonesia, a city affectionately known as the Big Durian, a fruit with a powerful odour yet sweet taste. His first published story was set in the metropolis, as was ‘Grey Man Walking Past’, his sixth selected for publication. Between these highs he has scribbled tales based on his experiences from Shanghai to Seoul and Lisbon to Madrid and back again, appearing in such outlets as Black Static magazine and a collection of short stories called ‘The Best of the Short Story’.
He currently lives in a converted Oast House in the English countryside, where hops were once gathered to turn into ale. Between writing he walks his dogs, feeds the birds, throws pots on a Wednesday and commutes into London. David’s personal observations reflect the worlds he occupies, close and distant, in the art of creation.
SOMETHING WILL BEFALL US ALL…
My stories are painted in shades of dark. I had wanted them to be light, a series devoted to celebration, but the shadows crept in. Take the story of the Grey Man. A projection of dismay and consequence, yet the rhythms that drive his dance are golden and vibrant, the sounds of gamelan and the colours of the tropics. My brush has stained the carnival as greed and loathing bubble to the fore. Maybe I should be nicer.
My name is Kotok. It is also the name of an island floating in an azure sea. Well, it used to be azure. The eggy waters of Jakarta Bay, once a distant menace to sail through, now threaten to strangle the reefs and soil the beach. Plastic toys and discarded sandals and rusting cans decorate the sandbars and plastic bags float like ghosts in the water. Maybe we should be more careful.
I write about what I know and what I don’t know. I write to lay demons to rest, but things fall apart in a churn of motion. So be nice…. And be careful.
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