Ever heard the one about the killer beer?
By JULIA ILES
BEST-SELLING author Peter Watt has learned a lot from history.
"Did you know Australian beer could kill you up until the 1870s?," he said.
"They used to put all sorts of acids in it to make it bubbly."
It's just one of the facts Peter uncovered while researching one of his many novels.
"I write about largely unknown historical events with a fictional spin. I like to think I am a sort of an Australian Wilbur Smith," Mr Watt said.
Last night the former police sergeant unveiled his latest novel, The Silent Frontier, at the Grafton Regional Library.
The book is currently number three on the Australian bestsellers list.
It is about a conflict called 'Waikato' in New Zealand between 1863-85, when the Maoris fought against an Australian mercenary army of 3000 men.
"The Maoris never lost a battle as they fought uniquely ... at one stage New Zealand was considered to be a part of New South Wales," he said.
Peter, who grew up in Tweed Heads, is planning to relocate to Maclean from Finch Hatton in Queensland, where he is based.
He is contracted to write a book a year, something he said was more perspiration than inspiration.