Papuan war inspires Watt

HE'S been a solider, a police sergeant and a deckhand, and after he retired to Maclean, author Peter Watt continued writing.

On November 1 his novel, The Pacific, will be a hot new release in bookstores across the nation.

The Pacific tells the story of the trials and tribulations of Second World War correspondent Ilsa Stahl.

Not afraid to tackle the terrifying frontline of battle, Ilsa jumps on board a plane that hits a terrible storm over Papuan waters and crashes.

After surviving the crash, a terrified Ilsa is taken prisoner by the Japanese, who threaten to hand her over to the Nazi's.

Hearing of his daughter's plight, Jack Kelly and Ilsa's brother Lukas take off on a mercy mission to save her life, with their intimate knowledge of the Papuan forests as their secret weapon.

The story draws on the history of one of the most devastating conflicts in Australia's history and continues the story of the Kelly's and Mann's from previous books.

The Sunday Age describes Mr Watt as "the home-grown version of Wilbur Smith".

Among his various careers Mr Watt, who is a mad-keen fisherman, was also an advisor to the Royal Papua New Guinea constabulary. Mr Watt has drawn on his life experi- ences and included facets of them in many of his books.

He describes his stories as "the fictional lives of my characters - in a real world of history".

With more than a dozen books under his belt, Mr Watt enjoys good friends, fine food and fishing in the Clarence Valley, plus exploring the Queensland outback.

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