I really enjoy giving public talks about my books and I welcome invitations to speak to any group interested in the subjects I raise in my books, be it a local library, RSL club, schools, universities or book clubs.
I live in Sydney, but I try to get to meet groups in other places during my wanderings around Australia as I research the next book.
One of the great rewards for me in writing non-fiction books is having the opportunity to meet people who have been in the real-life situations I write about. I relish hearing their stories as true stories are always stronger than fiction.
I was interviewed by the Sunraysia Daily when I was giving a talk to the local RSL club in Mildura, Victoria. Here’s an extract where I talk about the thrill of writing:
“It’s like putting a giant jigsaw together, but after working in newspapers for more than 30 years where you are restricted by tight deadlines and where 2,000 words is a very long feature story, writing a 100,000 word book was liberating.
There were no restrictions on where the story took me. I could make my own interpretations and develop the story the way I wanted. Sometimes the research takes you down paths you never expected. Then something new will pop up either from another veteran you interview, or from a document you find gathering dust in some archive or personal collection.
It requires a lot of detective work, but the real thrill comes in meeting veterans who are willing to tell their stories. I always find it a great privilege to talk to people who have lived through extraordinary events.”