I am often asked why I write and where do I find the time?
With four children and a full time job, it's not easy, although I must say up front that it wouldn't even be possible without the wonderful support of my wife. In terms of time management, I just find a quiet hour whenever I can and frequently that is in the dark hours. There is no time for waiting to be struck by 'the muse', as I have learned over the years meeting deadlines month after month for magazine editors. Sit down and start writing - that's it.
However, beyond the logistics, it is you, the readers, that continually inspire and motivate me. The fact that you out there take precious time out of your lives to read what I have written means a great deal to me. Not infrequently, I receive direct feedback in the form of a book review, an email or a message, for which I am very appreciative. And within these messages there are those that make me feel very, very fortunate and absolutely blown away that dad's story (Without Precedent) has touched so many people.
The photo above came from one such reader and I cannot say "Thank You" enough.
Here is his message.
I've just finished reading Without Precedent and I feel compelled to tell you about the profound impact the book has had on me. Every year I go to the dawn service, I hear the story of the Gallipoli landing, pay my respects and go home. The horrific details of war are rarely discussed and I’ve come to realise how grossly under-educated I am in regard to the specific details of the sacrifices our service personnel make in battle and the ongoing impacts they deal with long after their service.
The story of Les Turner and Ian Wharton is harrowing. The story of Gladys Strawbridge’s frangipanis came damn close to having me in tears. My childhood was a walk in the park compared to Phillips, I could go on and on. Thank you so much for the history and knowledge you have passed on to me. I took me so long to read the book because I constantly stopped to Google certain aircraft, BCOF, Yamato etc. I was glued to my iPad from the second paragraph.
I grew up in Tully and worked in the sugar industry so it was exciting to read about Phillip's time as a cane cutter. I now live in Toowoomba and it was even more exciting to read about Toowoomba’s history and your families place in that history. I live and work only a stone's throw from Drayton Cemetery, so late this afternoon my girlfriend and I spent some time scouting out Phillip's plaque at the Wall of Remembrance. We also stopped by Bill, Louisa, Phillip and Edith’s resting place. Finding the plots could have been a needle in a haystack but I thought the Lutheran section might a good place to start and it paid off. By the way, the old foundry site is almost a Bunnings now, how times have changed.
Thanks again Owen.
No, thanks go to you - the readers.