Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I live in Sydney, Australia, and have written 6 books. My passions include of course writing & reading, history & pop culture and engaging with my readers online and at my regular book-signing events and as a guest author at writers festivals. I write in two distinct styles: Firstly my make-you-laugh-and-cry portraits of childhood, teenage & growing up in 1970s & 80s Australia, “Goodbye Crackernight” & “Memoirs of a Go-Go Dancer”. (Yes, my first job out of school.) These two books have been warmly received by readers as they’re not just My story but OUR story, a mirror to Us. Secondly, my more serious World War Two historical fictions, “Nor the Years Condemn”, “Ghosts of the Empire”, and my just-published “No Greater Love”. Bringing to life the stunning true saga of Australian, British and Commonwealth pilots and aircrew in World War Two, though hyper-accurate to the true history, I’ve written them as historical fictions so as to engage readers with the shining young characters who made the true history, the loss of such shining young characters rendering my stories the true anti-war portraits I intended them to be. My latest release, "Other People's Wars", is a reader introduction to the trilogy.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
"Other People's Wars". My inspiration to write it? Imagine a man who, when he was 21, was a real-life young superman physically and mentally, beloved by his family due to his sparkling intelligence and personality. Though he volunteered to leave his family and cross the planet to fight the worst evil imaginable. This he did in the most exciting way possible and he won, living to his 90s only to be surrounded by the ghosts of all his friends from the fight who remain forever 21. Imagine his story is true and there were 37 000 young men just like him. Who once lived just down the street from where you live right now. THOSE once young Australians are my inspiration.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Constantly walking down the street having detailed and sometimes animated conversations with myself. At least, that's what it must look like to passers-by… What I'm actually doing is running through in my head the book lines I've just written to see how they will "sound" in the reader's head.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
So many but in the context of my ‘growing up’ stories, Clive James, Roald Dahl, Bill Bryson, for my war stories, Ken Follett & Roald Dahl once again, Kate Grenville, Tim Winton & Peter Carey for their emotive Australian historical fictions. Though I think my ultimate author would have to be Roald Dahl for the way he captures the adult world as if with the involuntary perfection of a child's eye.
What are you working on now?
Planning my next book. Or rather, constantly walking down the street having arguments with myself about what it will be. Passers-by seem to avoid me…
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Word of mouth. Happy reader to happy reader to happy reader.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Come up with a brilliant idea then re-write it 20 times until your book ends up the book it Deserves to be.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Always assume you are wrong. This will ensure you end up right.
What are you reading now?
"For Whom the Bell Tolls". (Yes, long, long overdue…)
What’s next for you as a writer?
A glass of lovely chilled Australian chardonnay.
What is your favorite book of all time?
"Going Solo" by Roald Dahl.