Author’s new chap­ter

LO­CAL author Nor­man Jor­gensen tells us about his lat­est work, The Smug­gler’s Curse.

Cockburn Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Jes­sica Nico

PLENTY of par­ents may be­come an­noyed with their chil­dren from time to time, but few would con­sider sell­ing them to a crim­i­nal.

But that is just what hap­pened to Red Read, a child whose world is turned up­side down when his mother sells him to a no­to­ri­ous 19th cen­tury smug­gler stalk­ing the north-west coast of Aus­tralia.

Red’s fright­en­ing and ex­hil­a­rat­ing adventure aboard The Black Dragon is the brain­child of lo­cal author Nor­man Jor­gensen in his new book The Smug­gler’s Curse.

Jor­gensen said the in­spi­ra­tion for the book, aimed at young read­ers, came dur­ing a re­cent visit to the Shet­land Is­lands near Scot­land where his own muchloved child­hood book was en­vi­sioned.

“Stay­ing there, I dis­cov­ered it is where Robert Louis Steven­son wrote Trea­sure Is­land, my favourite book as a kid,” he said.

“Later that night, I tried to write my own pi­rate story set in 1810, but it quickly evolved into a smug­glers’ tale.

“Later on, I moved it up to 1895 and re­set the plot in Broome and South-East Asia.”

With his re­search lead­ing him to learn first-hand just how rife piracy and war was in Asia at the time, Jor­gensen said he learnt plenty and looked to pass that on to his young read­ers by keep­ing some of the facts true to life.

“The plot is grounded in real his­tory, as are all the places men­tioned such as Broome, Sin­ga­pore, Su­ma­tra, Aceh, Cos­sack, Fre­man­tle and Al­bany,” he said.

“There was a fierce and bloody war rag­ing be­tween the colo­nial Dutch and the Su­ma­tran re­sis­tance fight­ers at the time, Chi­nese and Malay pi­rates roamed wild and Broome was a hot­bed for smug­gling pearls and opium.

“Into this late part of the 19th cen­tury I added my char­ac­ters and gave them per­ilous ad­ven­tures, but there are pos­si­bly a few more ex­plo­sions and guns fir­ing than in real Broome at that time.

“It was a hard slog re­search­ing The Smug­gler’s Curse, and it took a long time to write, but I had so much fun let­ting my imag­i­na­tion carry me away to sea with a swash­buck­ling cap­tain on the deck of a schooner as it skimmed across the waves to ex­otic lo­ca­tions on thrilling ad­ven­tures.”

The Smug­gler’s Curse is avail­able from www.fre­mantlepres­s.com.au.

Pic­ture: Will Rus­sell d457759

Nor­man Jor­gensen with his new book.

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