Welcome!

If you are reading this, chances are you’ve found me via TikTok. And if you didn’t, welcome anyway! My website has a number of sections dedicated to map making and writing, as well as a web store.

I am primarily an author, and draw fantasy maps for fun. My TikTok account is a mix of map drawing and the occasional book promo. I’ve been asked a fair bit about commissions, and the answer is YES, I am currently available. If you need a fantasy map made, head on over to my Fiverr gig and check it out, or email me. Or, if you would like to support me, you can buy me a coffee here!

If you would like to request something to go on TikTok, either comment on one of my videos, DM me on Insta or Twitter, or email me at Amy-Alex.Campbell@outlook.com. There is no guarantee that I will pick up your request, but if I do, you have the option of purchasing the signed original for $10 + shipping ($4 for A5, $10 for A4. Prices in AUD). Simply send me an email to arrange this

Café Explores: Merimbula Wharf Aquarium & Restaurant

For the last week I’ve been visiting Merimbula, situated on the Sapphire Coast in NSW. The town is tiny and mostly populated with holiday homes, accommodation, and oysters, but the beaches and cliffs are absolutely gorgeous. 10/10 would recommend people to come and visit.

Sadly, I didn’t get to set up camp in a cafe to write during this trip, but I did find one which I just had to review. It was more of a fine dining experience than a café, but let’s not be picky.

Since this establishment is both an aquarium and a restaurant, I’ll do this in two parts.

The Aquarium

I’ve been to many aquariums in my life: Melbourne, Manly, Gold Coast, the little ones dotted around, and as far as Las Vegas. I’m a keen axolotl parent and also have a pet yabbie, so when it comes to seeing fish in captivity, I’m quite critical of their care, husbandry, overstocking, and overall stress factor.

Of all the aquariums I’ve visited, Merimbula Wharf is by far my fave. For $25 a head, I enjoyed it so much more than Melbourne Aquarium, which from memory cost around $40.

What I loved:

The variety of fish and critters. There were fishies, a turtle, different species of lobsters, anemones, an octopus, sharks, seahorses, and an occasional shrimp. Their tanks were clean but not sterile like in some aquariums. These ones had the correct amount of hides for those species that like some privacy, the correct natural substrate, and none of the tanks were over crowded.

The best part? The tanks are all connected to a large water tank that’s pumped from the sea – their natural sea water – and this water flows into the tanks, keeping them fresh at all times. The cycle ensures the water is completely changed every day which means no nasty ammonia and nitrate build-up.

Most of the fish are caught in humane catchments next to the wharf and ‘visit’ for a time before being re-released. My fave were the cuttlefish. Two separate fish in two separate tanks had laid clutches of eggs, which the volunteer aquarists were super excited for.

View from the lower car park. Image (C) Amy-Alex Campbell

The Restaurant

After visiting the aquarium, I headed upstairs for a much needed coffee and some lunch. I honestly wasn’t expecting such a fine dining experience; I thought it would be the usual freshly caught fish and chips (I don’t eat fish for obvious reasons) or a hamburger.

I started with a flat white coffee and to my surprise it was divine. It was almost as good as Brew Lab in Penrith (review coming soon).

For my main, I had pork cutlet with bacon maple jus, honey mustard carrot, wilted broccolini, and mash. The flavours of the maple and the honey mustard worked well together and infused into the mash. Even the cutlet was cooked perfectly and melted in my mouth. From the very first bite to the last, my palate was taken on a delicious journey.

I chose an alcoholic ginger beer to pair with the pork and wasn’t disappointed. When it comes to drink pairings I have no bloody clue. This choice worked though and I have zero regrets.

My final order has somewhat become my tradition for these posts. The good ol’ chai latte. Like I said above, this was a restaurant not a cafe, so instead of the usual chai in a takeaway container, it was a pot of brewed tea with milk and sugar on the side.

The first cup of a pot is always a little weak and I didn’t get to enjoy the full flavour of the chai. The second, though, was much richer in flavour and warmed me to my toes. It was completely different compared to a chai latte, but I wasn’t disappointed.

Overall, this was a great experience and I highly recommend going there if you’re visiting the area.

Much love,
Amex <3

Representation is fucking important.

No, Mum, I’m not apologising for swearing here. Today I want to tell you the story of Cassie* and you all need to stop and listen.

Cassie is a 16yo girl who has a disability. She started coming into my store around 3 or 4 years ago. Once or twice a week her carer Sandra* brings her in for a lap around the store just because she loves it so much.

At first, Cassie was shy and didn’t like chatting much. I’d make small talk with Sandra and over time we developed a bit of rapport.

And then it happened. Somewhere in between lockdowns, they came into the store and I greeted them with a huge smile as always and asked how they were. To my surprise and absolute delight, Cassie held up her toy for me to see. She was all excited to show me and was the first time she felt comfortable interacting with me.

This became a weekly thing. Every Thursday they come in and Cassie shows me her new toy (she gets one every week while out with Sandra). She told me that her 16th birthday is coming up and even told me that she started working one day a week.

Then, yesterday.

It was the first time I’ve seen them for a few weeks due to my work schedule changing. When they came in, Cassie’s eyes lit up and she shoved something towards Sandra and said something I didn’t quite catch. Sandra smiled and passed me a Barbie who was in a wheelchair. They invited me to test drive it on the counter.

“She’s in a wheelchair just like me!”

“It has brakes!”

“SHE’S JUST LIKE ME!”

Representation matters, people.

Now excuse me while I go and sob my heart out in the corner.

<3

~Amex

* Names changed.

Just Checking In…

Yes I’m still alive! And yes I’m still writing!

As a matter of fact, I’ve joined a local writer’s group which has helped to motivate me to write. We meet monthly, but in between we chat on Discord and encourage each other to push on. Aside from this, I’ve been meeting up regularly with one of my best friends for writing sprints over coffee. From a writing perspective, things are going great.

Inspiration is flowing as freely as the storms that rage among us, flooding my mind with trickles of words that will be swept away with the meaningless remnants of materialism.

Ryan Coleman

Project update:

The rewrite of The Lowest Realm did stall for a while while I re-evaluated a few things, but now I have it under control. It’s not an easy task, but it’s so so worth it. This rewrite is an investment into the entire series – after all, if people cringe as much as I do reading the older versions, there’s no way they will go on to read the rest of the series.

I’ve just hit 20k – yes, TWENTY THOUSAND followers on TikTok! This means I have a lot of maps sitting around doing nothing. I have come up with an amazing idea for these and am super excited to put it into action. BUT I want to finish this rewrite first so I don’t get overwhelmed and burn out. But watch this space.

Coming soon is a new range of Bin Chicken stickers and pins. I’m just finalising the artwork before I send it off to be manufactured. I’ve drawn them all painstakingly by hand using photos that I took myself as reference.

I do have some other stories waiting to be written, but as I keep saying, my priority is The Lowest Realm, followed by The Final Realm and Tysion’s Story. If you want to see them sooner, I’m taking applications for a sugar daddy so I can write full time 😛

Take care folks <3

Much love,
Amex xox

A Bit of a Facelift

Last year I was notified that the theme I use for this website was made redundant and is no longer available. I won’t lie, I was a little annoyed. I’ve been testing different themes but none of them display the way I want.

Today, I decided eff it, and had a play around with the colours of this theme. The layout is the same, but it looks refreshed and a bit more modern. What do you think?

A few changes have been made to my store. I no longer sell DVDs as those films can be purchased or streamed on the director’s website. I’m in the process of designing some new ibis stickers and pronoun pins. New products (hopefully) coming soon.

The covers of The Lowest Realm and The Darkest Realm against a forrest background

My rewrite of The Lowest Realm is coming along nicely. I’m almost half way through, but as always, life has been interfering with my writing time. My goal is to finish this, have it edited and proofed, and have it published in time for Fair Day. The second edition will be published under a new ISBN and the first edition will be discontinued. For those who already have an older paperback, I’ll think of a way to offer the 2nd ed at a cheaper price. Watch this space.

The final piece of news is a little on the sad side. I’ve recently been diagnosed with lymphedema, so I’ve been in and out of different appointments for tests and scans. Thankfully I’m only in stage 1, so it’s at least manageable. With the stress of this and other factors, I had to admit defeat and apply for a leave of absence from uni. I was already 2 weeks behind, and given the legalities of my field, I can’t afford to miss anything due to rushing. I shall resume my studies in 2023 and hopefully get this blasted degree finished!

That’s all for now. I just want to take a moment to thank those who have followed me since day 1 and have encouraged and supported me on this journey. You all mean the world to me <3

Much love,
~Amex xox

How is it July already?

I could have sworn I updated my blog just a couple weeks ago, but all of a sudden it’s July and I don’t know where the time has gone! I’ve actually been busy in a writing sense, so here is another little update.

> The rewrite for The Lowest Realm is going really well. I’m up to chapter 11, and I’m really happy with my progress. The characters are fleshing out nicely and I’m cleaning up some the sloppy beginner mistakes as I go. I don’t have an ETA for this, but I would like to be done with it by the end of August.

> My TikTok is growing in popularity and as of this morning, I reached 14k followers and 700k likes! I’m so blown away by the fact that people seem to love my content.

> Uni starts tomorrow, and I think it will be an intensive class. Hopefully it doesn’t cut into my writing time too much. When I finish with uni for this year, I’ll be heading into peak sales period at work, so (not so) fun times ahead.

> I’d originally wanted to launch a new book at Fair Day 2023, but in all honestly I don’t think I’ll have book 3 done in time. I haven’t even worked on that for months and I’m behind in my goals, but unfortunately that’s the nature of writing.

> Speaking of Fair Day… I’ll be making some new pride stickers and some pronoun pins to sell, and will be looking into ordering some professional signage for when I do these events. I will post updates when the time comes.

That’s all for the moment. I’m about to go and meet up with my writer friends for a writing session, so hopefully I’ll get much more done today!

Take care my peeps!

Much love,
Amex <3

Pride Guest Post by Amy-Alex Campbell

Hello and welcome back to the Pride celebrations! I can’t believe that it’s already almost the end of the second week in June! How did this month fly…

Pride Guest Post by Amy-Alex Campbell
(☝️ click this link to read)

Hi everyone! Check out my guest post on Infinite Pages for Pride 🏳️‍🌈.

I’d also like to quickly say a big thank you to Jesse for including me in his blog 💜

World Pride Month

It’s the 1st of June in Australia, so World Pride Month is officially here. To celebrate, I’ve made my best selling pride bin chicken available on tees and hoodies. You can check these out in my RedBubble store HERE.

Since it’s a bit fiddly to set up, DM me on any of my social medias or contact me HERE if you’d like any of the other flags made available on shirts or hoodies. I do plan to add more designs down the track when I get some more time.

Don’t forget, stickers and pins are available on RedBubble along with the rest of my merch. I have plenty of paperback books in stock, and eBooks are always available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

trans bin chicken

Have a fab month folks!

Much love,

Amex xox

Project Update

Hi!
As I’m writing this, there are two pigeons roaming around inside Westfield food court, and one just flew over my head. Cheeky buggers! But anyways…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a writing update since I haven’t been writing much of late. As always, inspiration strikes at the strangest times and in the strangest ways, and all of a sudden I’m working on 3 writing projects at once. Ugh!

The first project is a complete rewrite of The Lowest Realm. I’ve done this so many times my head hurts, but honestly it’s for the best. This rewrite will become the second (and final) edition and will essentially be the same story, but much cleaner and with *some* changes. I have an awesome editor to work with now who will help me get this up to the quality of The Darkest Realm (which is amazing if I may say so myself).

The second project is of course book 3, The Final Realm. I’ve rewritten Chapter 1 opening so many times and am struggling to get it right, but that’s ok. I’m exploring the depth of my evil guy’s mind and need to get to know him a little better so I can flesh him out. I certainly don’t want a cardboard cutout villain – he deserves so much more than that (even though he’s an asshole).

The THIRD project came to me yesterday as I was drawing a map for TikTok. As I was filling in the elements, I found myself thinking of a story to go with it, and next thing I know I have a complete plot written out! This one may be released under a different pen name but same imprint (AAC Publishing Australia). We’ll see.

Apologies for the crude photo!

I don’t have a time frame for these projects – I’m still tied down with work and my studies. But fingers crossed I can get one of these completed some time soon!

As for now, I need to go. But stay tuned and I will update yall soon!

Much love,
Amex <3

Cafè Explores: The Coffee Emporium, Parramatta.

After a busy few months of adulting, I finally found some free time to go and hang out and sample another chai latte in style. My adventure on this day landed me at The Coffee Emporium in Parramatta.

On the day of my visit, it was pouring down rain, so the place was rather quiet. I was able to sit outside in peace and get some reading done (settle down Kon, it was uni stuff haha).

I ordered a blueberry muffin and chai latte. Usually I like my muffins unheated, but given the massive size of these ones, I probably should have said yes. Regardless, it was yummy and very filling. The chai latte was exactly as it should be, and very enjoyable. Unlike coffee which has all the different blends and tastes, I can always rely on my chai latte tasting somewhat the same no matter where I go.

When I was finished, I headed back towards the station and spotted the coolest livery on a bus that I’ve seen for ages. So colourful! I then got back to the station and caught an old V set home.

I can totally see myself hanging out here while writing my books. The inside seating area is tiny, but there are heaps of tables and chairs outside to sit. I know this area can get quite packed, so if you are going to do some writing, perhaps go on a quiet day.