I was recently approached by fellow author, Chris Allen and asked to jump aboard a ‘challenge’ (so to speak) currently sweeping around the author types at the moment. It was an interesting idea. Answer ten questions about the novel currently being written. So, without further ado, here’s what to expect from the new novel being released this year:
1) What is the working title of your next book?
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
Australia is one of the free countries of the western world. However, unlike other countries, we were not developed through long, bloody conflict on Australian soil and/or outright civil war. I have always been interested in how Australia would fair if she were invaded and ‘put to the sword’, so to speak. How would average, every day Australians cope? And what about the Australian Defence Force, how would they meet this new threat? Would they survive? I have always maintained a keen interest in this topic. We Australians like to think we could stave off any threat at any time, and if met with equal or slightly larger numbers, we probably would. However, met with far superior numbers, would we pull through as well as we might like to think? The idea of this book has been with me for many years. It is realistic, gritty and dark.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
The Reckoning is Fiction and as always, falls under Action/Adventure.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I hadn’t really thought about this, but after some brain storming, here goes:
Sam Worthington (SASR Corporal), Garry Sweet (angry old grand-father), Rachael Taylor (to play Sweet’s daughter), child actress (to play Taylor’s daughter), Ryan Corr (young Aussie caught up in the mess, falls in love with Taylor’s character), David Ngoombujarra (Norforce rifleman), Eric Banner (FA-18 Fighter pilot), David Wenham (infantry platoon commander), Masa Yamaguchi (SASR trooper) and Charles Mesure (Navy Clearance Diver). There are many other characters, but I’ll stop there for now.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Post invasion, overwhelmed, exhausted and struggling to survive, the people of Australia enter their darkest hour.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
At this stage, The Reckoning will be an independent novel.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I am still writing the manuscript, however, the first draft will be completed after 9 – 12 months and will be approximately 80,000 words in length.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Obviously, The Reckoning is comparable to the series of books written by John Marsden, however only to a point. The Reckoning is not aimed at the young adult market.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My service in the Australian Defence Force inspired me to write this novel. The ADF are trained how to fight, how to deploy on foreign soil as a large force, and what to expect once they arrive at their destination. They are trained how to cope with situations and environments that civilians may perceive as stressful. However, very rarely, certainly never in my experience as a Rifleman in the Army or working with aircraft (both in the RAAF and Army), are they ever trained what to expect should a foreign power suddenly and successfully invade Australia. Fellow soldiers playing enemy, creeping around the perimetre at night whilst ‘out bush’ hissing, “I see you Aussie,” in hammy accents does not count either.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
“That could never happen,” I can hear the sceptics say. Remember, the ‘it can’t happen to me’ bubble feels so very secure when you are within it, but bear in mind that it is nothing more than that. A bubble.
In The Reckoning, following a very cunning decoy which ties up all of Australia’s anti-terrorist and quick reaction capability, the Indonesian Army makes landfall, overwhelming and capturing the airport of a small regional city in Queensland, called Mackay. How do you transport soldiers to fight this new threat? The closest military city is Townsville, a four hour drive away. You could fly them I suppose, but remember, Mackay airport has been captured and Surface to Air Missile sites would now be dotted all over the city. The aircraft would be shot down en route, or as it attempted to land. Within two hours, enemy transport and fighter aircraft are landing in Mackay, refuelling and commencing combat missions within the area. Rockhampton airport falls. You can expect some light resistance by Australian Army reservist units, however they have to be contacted by their unit, drive to work, have their personal weapons issued from the armoury, have ammunition issued, load the ammunition, attend a briefing as to what has happened, and (assuming that whilst en route to work they weren’t intercepted and neutralised by enemy forces) then be ready to fight.
The enemy force would have established a very strong foothold in the area long before the reservists are ready to employ weapons against the threat.
Once these airports are captured, an invasion of Brisbane from both sea and air can commence. The invasion from sea is unsuspected by Australia (you can find out how the Indonesians do this by reading the book). This small part of the invasion I have described is happening only in Queensland. Keep in mind that similar incidents are happening in every state of Australia at the same time.
Within twenty four hours every capital city of Australia is under attack by a numerous and persistent enemy force. Most cities will fall into enemy hands. So you can see now, that the invasion provides a very complex problem for the ADF. Australia’s vast area defeats us, not to mention a fast, aggressive surprise attack by Indonesia.
Will we survive?
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