In the Chronicles of Almythea, Australian author A.J. Cootes builds on the timeless formula of blockbusting storytelling in the ilk of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Avatar and The Stormlight Archive. He builds a world at once mystical and elemental, but with a modern-day relevance. Ultimately, the Chronicles of Almythea challenge our origin myths and tests us to take a “leap of faith” to fulfil our destiny in the world.
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A.J. Cootes began writing after his best friend, Greg Wilson, was involved in a near-fatal motorcycle accident. Greg’s ensuing battle with depression inspired the pair to co-author the artist’s biography, “My
Brush with Depression,” in the hope it would help others facing similar problems.
Growing up, A.J. loved movies and stories that encouraged both his imagination and altruism. The Star Wars films are his favorites. Dune by Frank Herbert, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, and other books by Charles Dickens and Ernest Hemingway all left an indelible impression on the young man.
Hemingway’s intrepid spirit inspired A.J. to seek out adventures of his own. Some of Cootes’ life highlights include: running with the bulls in Pamplona, camping at Everest base camp, surfing overhead waves at Cloudbreak reef in Fiji and standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. He is a qualified abseiling, caving, and skiing instructor and has also worked as a cruise director and whale-watching guide.
Today, he lives a quieter life on a farm in the Hunter Valley and is a director of the Greg Wilson Studio. He resides with his wife, Joyce, and inseparable friend and business partner Josie Wilson (collectively known as the Hippies on the Hill). He is happiest when he is writing, playing with his dog, Hemingway, and tending to his hens, led by Princess Layer, in the Cluckleberry Inn coop.