Skills of the Warramunga follows our well-known team on a mission to rescue an MI6 operative from bandits on the Malayan peninsula. How did the idea for this novel start and change as you wrote?
My third book, Skills of the Warramunga, takes place in Malaya, where I have worked during my career throughout the country. After my first book, The Warramunga’s War, where most of the action takes place during the Second World War, my novels have dealt with the consequences in the aftermath of war. After of World War II, in Malaya many different groups, including communists, bandits, Nazis and others, were trying to gain control of all or part of the Malayan Peninsular from the British. The novel deals with the period when the British created the Malayan Union in April 1946. It showcases the extraordinary tracking skills of the Warramunga aborigines, which I witnessed first-hand during my time at Tennant Creek.
This is the last novel in your Warramunga Trilogy. Did you accomplish everything you set out to do with this set of novels?
Yes, I did. Firstly, I intended to show the effects of war in countries where I had worked and am familiar with. Secondly, I planned to include some of the weird and wonderful people whom I worked with over the years as characters in the novels (with changed names, of course) and to use them to entertain the readers. Thirdly, I wanted to show case the incredible skills of the Warramunga aborigines as I knew them years ago. I think I have achieved all that.
What draws you to the military suspense genre?
I was drawn to the military suspense genre, largely as I had a lot of research and data about the Second World War. My father and his brothers fought in that war, so I have quite a lot of information from them. The war was a violent but intensely interesting time.
What is the next novel that you are working on and when will it be available?
After completing the original trilogy, I decided that I couldn’t let the principal characters just fade away, so I set their next adventure in China in which I have worked extensively over the years.
The Warramunga’s Aftermath of War encapsulates the investigation into the post-war activities of a major criminal organisation with tentacles to the USA, Australia and South East Asia. When a fishing boat is discovered in distress in rough seas northwest of Darwin in late 1945, former army officer, Jamie Munro, and educated half-caste Warramunga aborigine, Jack “Jacko” O’Brien, who head the CIS in Darwin, are called on to investigate child smuggling operations financed by a shadowy ring of wealthy paedophiles.
This book is the second book of a trilogy. This follows The Warramunga’s War detailing the meeting of Jamie and Jacko on the battlefield during the Second World War and their activities working together with MI6 in intelligence during the remainder of the war.