I've recently finished my first book, an action story - the premise for which is based very loosely upon some of my exploits and those of a number of my significantly more intrepid friends who are still out there doing it for real. Writing has been a labour of love and hate for the best part of a decade but I've really only given my blockbuster the attention it's deserved in the past couple of years. I finally put the finishing touches to it on the eve of our son's birth back in January and now, with some considerable anticipation, have begun the search for a publisher. However, with the lion's share of the work for the book done now, I've apparently become unmanageable at home as I've had nothing to occupy my overactive imagination. So, as a result of some serious hounding from my wife, Sarah, I'm blogging, essentially in the hope of finding a suitable, more immediate outlet for my two-fingered dissertations.
Back in the day I was an Army Officer, a Major. I began my career as a private soldier in the Australian Army before being commissioned and had the great fortune to also serve on attachment to the British Army and the New Zealand Army during a career that spanned almost 15 years. I take great pride in my service as an infantryman and paratrooper and consider myself very privileged to include some extraordinary and courageous people within my select circle of closest friends.
Unfortunately, my military career came to an end as a result of injuries I sustained in service, wear and tear mostly, and so since 1997 I've been engaged upon a number of diverse but all equally challenging pursuits. I spent a fair bit of time in getting back in shape post-injury, some sporadic periods at university (although actual completion of my bachelor studies continues to elude me), a stint in East Timor as the security manager for an aid agency at the height of the emergency in late 1999, and then a bit of time in the professional wilderness contemplating life and the universe. You see, there just wasn't a great deal of call for injured, retired ex-paratrooper Majors in civilian life at that time. Go figure!
It was the September 11 tragedy in 2001 that saw my expertise in relation to risk management and risk mitigation strategies once again in demand. As a result, for most of the last nine years I've been heavily involved in various government security tasks, working for the Australian government and the New South Wales State government including, most recently, with the Department of Justice & Attorney General.
Incredibly, all of this came about because a young Perth boy decided early on that he wanted to write action stories and, if he wanted to do that he'd need to get out in the world and see some of it for himself. Now, I'm working on the second book – a sequel to the first - while we're nutting out publishing arrangements. Keep your fingers crossed for me, if you don't mind. It's a very exciting time in our household. Meanwhile, as I sit here at our kitchen table on a lazy Sunday night, I've been musing over exactly to what end I may or may not use this blog. My current thoughts are that I would like to occasionally engage you over things I'm interested in. Off the top of my head that will probably mean leadership, mentoring, struggling nations, underdogs and the everyday hero.
Now, this has been a practice run so in the best traditions of the aspiring author I've stuck to the adage that '...the best thing to write about is yourself'. Fear not, though, if you're curious enough to drop in again, I'll aim to keep future editions more succinct, much less rambling and, hopefully, much more interesting than this.
All the best,