Interview with Antje Dun

What's the story behind your latest book?
This story is a fictionalised account of a relatively unknown chapter in Australia's history. Most Australians grow up learning about Matthew Flinders who was the first to circumnavigate Australia. The next person to circumnavigate Australia was Captain Phillip Parker King, the first Australian born white explorer. He mapped and explored the north and western coasts of Australia four times. An amazing thing to do at the time of few maps and unknown places. He kept an account of his explorations in a journal called 'The Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia: Performed between the Years 1818 and 1822, Volumes One and Two' which are available to read on the Project Gutenberg website -

I found out about this story through my grandfather. He told me my fifth great grandfather was also on these voyages. He was a Lieutenant and his name was Frederick Bedwell. My grandfather was always trying to interest me in this story when I was growing up but being young at the time this story floated over my head. Fast forward a few decades and when my grandfather passed a few years ago I reread one of his publications he had put together about our family history and in it were snippets of Frederick Bedwell's story and his work surveying the coast of Australia with King. This led me to the journals Captain Phillip Parker King had written and I thought it was amazing that I could read about what an ancestor had experienced hundreds of years ago - what a gift! This time I was also ready to, I guess, 'receive' the story - I was older, interested in my ancestry, had a new found appreciation for the place I live (Australia) and am fascinated reading about the meeting of different worlds and cultures.

I started to read the journals and found them absolutely fascinating. However, I also found it hard to read due to the writing being in a very factual, old English style (obviously, it is almost two hundred years ago). I really wanted my kids to be know about their ancestor so I thought what if I rewrite in a style they are used to and that is how it all started.
Who are your favorite authors?
Geraldine Brooks and Hannah Kent are two of my favourite Australian authors - historical fiction geniuses!!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Kid wrangling, walking the dog, photography, reading and yes that thing called work.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I can't remember the first one but I recall reading Sadako and the thousand paper cranes as a young girl and it having a profound impact on me. I just couldn't believe it was true. How could people do this to each other? Such a powerful reminder of the world's tragedies and hopes. I recently read this book to my own kids...
What do you read for pleasure?
My first love is historical fiction I just can't think of a better way to learn about our world.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It takes one out of the ordinary everyday routine tasks into one of magic, wonder and reflection.
Published 2018-02-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Wonders, Wishes and Waves Diary of an Accidental Explorer
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 20,050. Language: English. Published: February 19, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Historical / Exploration & Discovery
Lofty really wants to go home but he is stuck on a ship on the other side of the world. There’s just one problem. He can’t and he is surrounded by so many scary things in Australia – sharks, snakes and pirates. Luckily, his friend Plant Spy is there to help him. Does Lofty realise the wonders he is experiencing or does he keep wishing to go home?