Ryan Heffernan

(AKA The Bipolar Clown)

Hello Kind People. Thanks so much for dropping in. In short I am an Australian author and street poet. My bipolar memoir, Clown & I, is one where passion, a series of near-death experiences and a broken life have driven this project from the very start. If I don’t write I will die. That is my truth, and I know it for sure and certain because I spanned crevasses and free-dived into the ocean’s trenches to find my truth. In the end I found her, adorned with star diamonds, at the end of a bottle on a cliff’s edge in my hometown of Brisbane.

I describe Clown & I as a dreamy, soulful and unique bipolar memoir. Clown & I is a confronting exploration of my magical and magnetic life with bipolar, where love and success have been writ large, but personal ruination has forever lurked in the form of broken relationships, addiction, general substance abuse and poverty, frequently destabilising my role as a father to a young boy.

Much of the book is focused on the beauty of bipolar disorder and cheekiness of a mind that likes to play tricks on me. It is loved up, sexed up, drugged up and blacked up. But it is my truth, so it gets dark. I’ll take you down all of the paths with my flickering and faulty lamplight. So stay close to me, because I don’t want you getting lost ever again. And yet we both know you will. That’s your truth, but you already know that. I wrote this book to clarify how I felt about my mental health and make sense of the wasteland my life had become. But I also wrote it for you, to give you some peace of mind and let you know you are not alone. There are many of us out there in pain, and there are also troops out there who have your back. I am a soldier standing next to you until the end.

My Bipolar Clown was born out of a real life event where I became fixated on becoming a street clown during a major manic episode. And I did just that while slugging concentrated vodka red bulls in my dilapidated home in Brisbane’s bustling West End.

I would consider myself a self-taught, self-styled writer inspired by 20th Century American literary greats like Charles Bukowski, Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, Carson McCullers, Henry Miller and many others. I try focus on high quality writing that taps into acute social issues and injustices, especially mental health, fatherhood in broken relationships, poverty, modern masculinity and any other frontline issues that piss me off or get me sexed up, hot and bothered.

Having covered numerous natural disasters, riots, general street mayhem and murders as a journalist, I am fascinated by the human condition. I use writing to explore the beauty in people confronting life-changing situations and soul dilemmas. I am enamoured by the most marginalised people I meet and the strength they possess. Largely I believe society is in a shameful mess run and ruined by rich and powerful fools who have no idea what it’s like to go without a meal, much less to lose your mind.

Right now I am obsessed with telling stories that reach my beloved kin, which includes anyone confronted with a serious mental illness and has to cope with all of the emotional and practical fallout that goes with that. I work very closely with the cantankerous bipolar clown to devise a mixture or hard prose, street poetry, interviews, comedy sketches and memes. We both want you to belly laugh and bawl your eyes out with us. Because we love you. We really do. That is our truth.

If you buy the book, Clown & I it would be great of you could do so here in my bookshop because I try to be cheaper and it means I can upscale to three square meals a day. It also means you won’t be making the big booksellers even richer at my expense.

I’d also like it very much if we could become mates on social media – the links are just below. I have met some of the most beautiful people in all of the world hanging out into the wee hours supporting each other and bringing on vital belly laughs.

Love you long time.

Ryan

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