The Heart Radical for Asia release.

The Heart Radical will be released in eight countries in Asia in March. the publisher is Singapore-based Monsoon Books, who also published Amber Road in 2013. The launch will mean that the book will be available to readers in Malaysia for the first time, the country in which most of the story is set. Arrangements for book tour of Maysia and Singapore being finalised. … [Read more...]

Richard Fidler ‘Conversations’ interview

conversations - richard fidler Click on link above to hear ABC interview with Richard Fidler about Errol Flynn's relationship with Fidel Castro at the height of the Cuban revolution. … [Read more...]

Radio National interview on The Heart Radical

Kate Evans of ABC Radio National's Books Plus program confesses to a weakness for good historical fiction. And well she might, being an historian herself. Here we discuss The Heart Radical – where it came from, what it means, its place in history. … [Read more...]

The Heart Radical another Book of the Month

The Heart Radical was released by Random House this month (February), and they made it their Book of the Month. This follows Amber Road, which was the publisher's Book of the Month last February (2013). I am looking forward to another round of library talks for this one, which will give me an opportunity to speak about the origins for this story. All the characters in The Heart Radical are based on actual people. The most influential of all are my wife, Oola Ong, who is the basis for the main character, the 8-year-old Su-Lin. Also my father-in-law, H. T. Ong, whose life and experiences I drew on largely for the character of Su-Lin's … [Read more...]

The Blood, Toil, Tears and Ninety-Nine Percent Perspiration of Writing

For years there has been a cliché in the advertising business that every copywriter has the unfinished novel in his or her bottom drawer. But it’s not true. Only the better ones do.   Of course, ‘better’ is a matter of opinion. And does it mean better copywriters or better novelists? Well, you decide from this collection:   F. Scott Fitzgerald, Salman Rushdie, Peter Carey, Dorothy Sayers, Joseph Heller, James Patterson, Derek Hansen and Len Deighton.   That’s just a start. And all of them got their start as copywriters.   From this shortlist alone, two Booker winners and the most famous … [Read more...]

If you can’t say it, sing it. Or blog it.

After resisting turning this page into a blog for months, I have finally relented. The rest of the world is doing it, why not me? So, from here on this is where I blah-blah-blog about all things to do with the publication of my books ... etcetera. That's the key word, actually – 'etcetera'. It's the etcetera that might actually be interesting! The first subject I want to write about is the adaptation of one of my novels into a Broadway-style musical. Errol, Fidel and the Cuban Rebel Girls is a book described at length elsewhere on this site. It was published by UQP in 2010, and I have adapted it myself for the stage. It follows the … [Read more...]

‘The Heart Radical’ for 2014 release

I have just seen the final cover for my new novel, The Heart Radical, which will be published by Random House in February. This is my second through RH, following Amber Road earlier this year, which was their book of the month last February. Although certainly not the sequel to that one, it is a chronological follow-up, in that it deals with the next big political event in that part of the world (Malaya-Singapore) following the Second World War. That event was the Malayan Emergency, an oft-forgotten conflict these days, but one of the first East-West Asian Communist conflicts, and one in which Australian forces figured heavily. The … [Read more...]

Book tour of Singapore and Malaysia.

To launch my first novel through Monsoon Books of Singapore, I went on a short book tour of Singapore and Malaysia in May. Monsoon has published Amber Road throughout Southeast Asia, in a total of 10 countries. Radio and newspaper interviews were backed up with book store visits, as well a number of talks on the subject matter in Amber Road, specifically the Japanese occupation of Singapore during the Second World War, as well as the impact it had on the local Peranakan culture. One address at the Singapore Museum was attended by 200. Another at the Australian International School had an enthusiastic audience of 70. The tour also took in … [Read more...]