The Story Behind Salvage

Welcome to my blog! With the release of my debut book, Salvage, pending, I figured I'd kick things off with some background of how I came to write the book. It's a question that I am getting asked a bit, so here it is, in brief. Please feel free to comment or start a discussion if any of this resonates with, or challenges you!

I started reading from a young age and have always loved books. Roald Dahl was a favourite of mine in primary school, and I soon migrated to the fantasy genre via Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Throughout my teens I read bucket loads of fantasy, along with a healthy sprinkling of sci-fi and ancient history.

Around 2006, after starting a job with a long commute, I decided to use the daily train trip to start writing my first book; unsurprisingly a fantasy. It took a long time, but I finished it eventually. However, I wasn’t particularly happy with it and did not feel it was of publishable standard. I had intended it as the first of a trilogy, but I found myself a little reluctant to continue on with the series.

By that time, Cara and I had two boys; Noah and Jacob, and I was becoming more and more concerned with what type of world they and future generations would inherit. I was particularly concerned with the issue of climate change, which had a fair amount of media focus at that time. For me, this issue needs to be at the top of society’s list, but because its effects creep up on us, and attribution of its impact is difficult, it is not taken always approached with the urgency and seriousness it should. I pictured a smoky future with wild, unpredictable and destructive weather. I pictured rising sea levels, a particularly devastating outcome for our coastal nation of Australia. I pictured a rise in lung disease, with breathing filters being standard issue for school kids, needed by anyone wanting to venture outside. And I pictured an older me, trying to explain to my grandchildren why I stood by and watched it all happen, thinking I was helpless to do anything about it.

Cara and I invested solar panels for the house, when it came time to buy a new car we factored in efficiency, and we tried to be more environmentally conscious around the house. But it didn’t feel like anywhere near enough.

In 2010 I caught a glimpse into the mining world and witnessed the money and resource they can deploy to muddy the waters and change the focus whenever the climate change issue threatens them. My need to do more grew, but I was at a loss as to what that could be. How could I possibly do anything to make a difference against the billions of dollars the mining magnates have at their disposal?

It was at this time that the idea for Salvage was born. It was a magical idea, because it was a way to combine my love of fiction and story-telling, with this very real and important issue that I was desperate to contribute to. I knew it would have to be compelling and entertaining; that’s the type of content I am drawn to read, it’s the type of book I wanted to write, and also the type of content that would give the book the best possible chance to reach lots of people. So I shelved the project I was working on, and started writing Salvage.