The stories behind the books....

Warning: May contain spoilers.

'A Few Quiet Beers with God' was the first book I wrote. I completed it in the early 1990s, when I was in my twenties. The action was set in 2020, and I had dreamed up the most imaginative and outlandish advancements in technology that I could envisage. Unfortunately for my manuscript, real life technology proceeded at a far quicker pace, and by 2014 had overtaken my imagination! I recently undertook a significant re-write, and set the book a little further in the future. The result is what I hope readers will find a humorous and enjoyable tale.

My next book was 'Back Pain: How to Get Rid of it Forever', which I completed  in 1999. I owned and ran two physiotherapy clinics, but could not find a back pain prevention book to recommend to my patients. So I decided to write one! The trouble with the other books on the market that although many of them were very well written, they all gave the same advice to every sufferer, regardless of his or her condition. This strategy was as silly as an optometrist giving every patient the same set of eye glasses. So I developed a classification quiz to help readers identify their back pain type, and tailored different advice and exercises for each one. 

'Back Pain' was originally published by Hale and Iremonger in Australia, and sold out its original print run.  Unfortunately the publishers closed their doors soon thereafter, so title was transferred to the JP Publishing Australia imprint. I recently updated 'Back Pain', reformatting and optimising it as a two volume E-Book. The new editions also reflect advances in the treatment of back pain, so readers can be assured they are getting the very best advice.          

'Using Your Brain to Get Rid of Your Pain' is an offshoot of 'Back Pain'. After researching the psychological aspects of back pain recuperation, I realised how important they were in many other conditions; the techniques that I recommended to back pain sufferers would work just as well for a wide range of conditions, from headaches to arthritis, and would have plenty of general health benefits as well. So I spun off 'Using your brain' as a stand-alone work.

'Campervan Kama Sutra' is the true story of my family's tour of outback Australia, which we undertook in 2009. This book started its life as a series of email letters back home to friends and family. Many people wrote back to say how much they were enjoying them, and many of them forwarded them on to friends and colleagues.  I was soon receiving encouragement and emails from people I had never met! Once the trip was over, I realised that I had enough material to constitute a novel.  After some tweaking and tidying, 'Campervan Kama Sutra' was born.  

'Captain Rum - A Wondrous Journey' is by far the most difficult piece I have written. The manuscript started life as a genuine attempt to write in the style of an 1820s ship's captain. For inspiration, I read other maritime journals, most notably those of Captain James Cook. I noted that they usually wrote in a formal style, with elaborate prose and eye-wateringly long sentences; in general they were difficult to read without intense concentration. 

For authenticity, I tried to imitate the flavour and style of their writing. My attempts to copy this style succeeded - unfortunately a bit too well. The authentic prose made it as unreadable as are Cook's journals, which would be shunned by all but the most ardent historian. The original novel was just as heavy going as were the original captain's logs. It was, in a word - and I hate to say it - boring. 

After realising that this authenticity was getting in the way of the story rather than enhancing it (prompted by some subtle hints from early reviewers) I re-wrote the entire manuscript word by word, converting my own work into more modern and readable prose. Despite the drudgery of this task, the end result was a much more entertaining tale, which I hope readers will thoroughly enjoy.