Maclean author Peter Watt with the transcript of his final book From the Stars Above. The photograph was taken in December 2016, just prior to the release of his last book While the Moon Burns. Image: Lynne Mowbray. Inset: The cover for From the Stars Above, by Peter Watt, which is the last in his 12 book Frontier series.
Maclean’s renowned author Peter Watt is set to celebrate the release his last book in the Frontier series From the Stars Above, on 14 November.
Peter, who has lived in Maclean for the last 12 years after moving from Finch Hatton [west of Mackay] in Queensland, began his writing career late in life. At around the age of 50 he was ‘picked up’ by publisher Pan MacMillan and he has just completed his 19th book.
Peter’s 12 book Frontier series began back in 2000, with the release of Cry of the Curlew.
The Frontier series is the epic tale of two families [Duffy and Macintosh] who are locked in a deadly battle from the moment squatter Donald Macintosh commits an act of barbarity on his Queensland property. Their paths cross in love, death and revenge as both families fight to tame the wild frontier of Australia’s north country.
Peter said that his last book in the series From the Stars Above, takes the story from 1958 to 1968.
“So it’s coming into an era that we can identify with and covers three campaigns that Australia was fighting; Malaya in the 1950’s against the communist Chinese, Borneo in the early 60’s against the Indonesian army and of course Vietnam,” Peter said.
“The series was based on real life events and I’d like to think that I put the characters into the real events. They’re fictional characters in real events.
“Most people write about Gallipoli or Ned Kelly or Tobruk – all these things that have been flogged to death.
“It’s been a trademark of mine, to write things that people don’t know about.
“From the Stars Above closes a circle on the whole family saga, as readers will find out. Not all the good guys survived.”
Peter said that although this was the last book in the Frontier series, it is far from the last book he’ll write.
So what now for Peter Watt?
“When my publishers asked me what I was doing next, I was stupid enough to tell them that I was thinking about [writing] a trilogy,” Peter said.
“They said, ‘OK, we’ll give you a three book advance’- so I’m stuck.
“I’ve already written the first book in the trilogy ‘The Queens Colonial’, which will be released next year.
“So one down and two to go – that will bring me up to the age of 70. I’m never going to get on the pension,” he said laughing.
Putting all his books and writing aside, Peter’s passion is fishing and fighting fires with his local Rural Fire Service [RFS] brigade. His mate Peter Campbell and himself [P1 and P2, as they fondly call each other], have been fighting fires together for many years. His strong sense of mateship and community as a member of the RFS, is something very close to Peter’s heart.
With the last book in the Frontier series about to be released, how does Peter celebrate the completion of his book series?
“I usually going down to the pub and have a few drinks and lunch”.
From the Stars Above by Peter Watt can be purchased from November 14 from The Book Warehouse in Yamba Shopping Fair, which is the only place in Australia to carry personally signed books by the author. It can also be purchased at Big W.