I joined the Navy out of school, went to sea and then to the United States to train as a pilot. My first posting was to fly helicopter combat assaults in Vietnam. When I left the Navy, I flew and instructed on helicopters in New Guinea, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan and Scotland. Then came eight years with Shell International, flying in Brunei, managing flying operations and security in Peru, then becoming an aviation adviser based in London. Coming home to Australia after twenty years, I first joined BHP as aviation manager, then my wife and I founded Hart Aviation. We built that company to operate in sixty countries before selling it in 2013. Now I draw on all those times, good and bad, as a writer.
Jake Hunt Without Warning
My latest book is Without Warning and it follows a guy called Jake Hunt, a Vietnam veteran who works as an aviation adviser to a global oil company. He’s in Brunei with a female co-worker when there is a terrorist attack, launched out of the southern Philippines.
What follows is a physical and mental struggle for Jake who reverts to his military training; that in turn brings back a lot of the trauma of his wartime experiences. Against this background, there is also a love story.
For me, writing the book has been cathartic. A lot of the journey that Jake travels I have also, or seen my friends travel it. Some of my friends are men who became hardened by combat and have never been entirely comfortable in a peace time world.
People react in different ways in such circumstances, some calmly and philosophically and others with violence and chaos. I have tried to capture those things in this book.