Author’s new chapter
LOCAL author Norman Jorgensen tells us about his latest work, The Smuggler’s Curse.
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.
Norman Jorgensen with his new book.