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Independent Melbourne writer Beau Taplin has a new book of painfully beautiful prose that has garnered praise from international sensation Khloe Kardashian right through to his mate, Dave.
The self-published title 'Buried Light' is a collection of raw yet eloquent passages on love and loss, which the likes of Kardashian, supermodel Jessica Stam, Hollywood actor Sophia Bush, plus Australian identities Bindi Irwin and Lauren Phillips have all gushed over on Instagram.
“When anybody posts my work at all it’s a huge compliment and it’s especially wonderful to see people from all kinds of occupations and walks of life finding something to relate to,” Mr Taplin said.
The 100-page book is Mr Taplin’s fifth release and sales via his personal website have quickly exceeded expectation.
“Sales in Buried Light’s first day of release were higher than the first two entire months of sales for the book that came before. I can’t believe it. It’s so fantastic to finally feel like I actually have something to offer and have some momentum in life,” he said.
“Buried Light is the culmination of a lot of trial and error as I taught myself how to navigate the world of self-publishing. As such, it’s also the book I’m most proud of and consider the most complete. It’s a fresh start for me."
The 27-year-old has two friends, whom also serve as advisers and one an accountant, that helped edit each individually titled passage the text comprises. The “read until your eyes are red” tagline on social media accounts, where extracts are available, could serve as a prologue.
Mr Taplin is making a living from the full-time occupation despite choosing not to refer his work, which has attracted 281,000 followers on Instagram, 16.3K on Twitter and 10,000 on Facebook, to a commercial publisher.
“From the beginning I knew publishing wasn’t for me. I believe it has its place of course. A novel, for example, I believe should almost always be released through the traditional avenues as its success depends on distribution and best seller lists,” he said. “But self-publishing has always appealed to me because I know it’s up to me and that I’m responsible. I’m an all-in or nothing kind of guy so that’s always been important to me.
“I either commit to something completely and with all my heart or I don’t do it at all. I’m not much for multitasking,” he continued.
“This meant in the beginning, for the first couple of years, I was barely scraping by. Thankfully the frankly mad persistence paid-off and you know something, I’m so grateful for that. I was lost before this.”
The obvious question is where Mr Taplin gets the inspiration for his exquisite words from. On this he provides well-crafted answers albeit ones which say something and nothing at the same time.
He also comes across as quite private, choosing not provide information on his education history, general background or interests outside an occupation clearly gaining traction. The face of the writer, with shoulder-length hair and tattoos across his arm and chest, rarely appears in public photos either.
“Like most people I know, I’m a host of contradictions,” he said. “I am quiet and introverted some days and loud and confident on others.
"I’d say I lean toward the shy end of the spectrum. But at the end of that day, I think that’s just due to a couple of blows to my confidence I’ve experienced over the past seven years or so and I’m working to overcome that. I don’t think people are inherently either confident or shy, I believe it all has to do with your state of mind and what you have left to work through.”
When approached for an interview, via his personal website, Mr Taplin affably asks for questions to be emailed to him over a request for a real-time conversation.
“How I articulate myself in conversation is very different to my writing and as any interviews I do right now are the readers' first and only way of knowing who I really am, it is important to me that I have time to consider the questions and word them as genuinely as I can,” he explained at the time.
There is no such sense of vulnerability or caution when it comes to expressing himself and apparent experiences in rendering prose people are clearly relating to however.
“I’d say I neither feel empowered or vulnerable when I share myself with others. To me, it’s always seemed the natural thing to do,” he said.
“Writing makes me feel like I have some purpose. And whether that’s true or not is unimportant, it’s a wonderful hope to hold onto.”
It's hard to gather a clear understanding of the young artist. He could be protecting his business interests by remaining private about the fine print, or selling it by purporting an image in line with a genre he has defined so well.
However, he does properly open up on one occasion when asked to name the greatest compliment he has received for his work to date. It's not from a Kardashian and shows the talented man is still grounded despite the celebrity attention.
“Easy,” he said. “One of my best mates Dave Tran has an inspiration wall in his room and up there, tucked away in the lower left corner, among all these images and quotations intended to motivate him to pursue his dreams and goals, is a little piece I wrote on overcoming difficulties.
“I don’t know, compliments from the people close to you have always been the most meaningful to me.”
Morning news break – October 21