This is the week for shamelessly sending out invitations to the Without Warning book launch on April 30th. Friends and family can expect annoying emails from me, begging your attendance. If I don’t pester you, it will only be because I lack dedication to the marketing effort. I really want to be writing my stories instead. However, I told my publisher that the Jake Hunt series is a trilogy, so there is work to be done.
For other authors who have been through the editing right of passage, you have my respect. For the readers who pick up errors in the finished work, please believe me when I say we laboured hard over the manuscript to get it right.
I’ve been through edits before, but never in such detail. Now that we are nearly finished Without Warning, I can tell you it was a marathon. My first pass at the 100,000-word manuscript increased it by ten per cent. Bad author! Fortunately, Caroline Mullarkey of Feather Knight Books was kind. Strict and insightful, but kind. I hope you’ll like the finished work.
For those interested in non-fiction and naval history, I recently collaborated with two old friends, Trevor Rieck and Jack McCaffrie to write a history of the group of young Australians sent to train as navy pilots with the US navy in Pensacola, Florida. Trevor started the project and managed the participation of the pilots involved, who contributed magnificently.
Jack edited and coordinated with the Australian navy and Big Sky Publishing to bring the project to completion. I edited and contributed. Wings of Gold was published by Big Sky in January 2020.
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.
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.