"I always liked writing little vignettes, trying to describe the 'action' sequences I saw in a film or the Saturday Afternoon Serial at local cinemas," remembers Keith Hetherington, better-known as 'Hank J. Kirby', author of the Bronco Madigan series. "Then, when I was in my teens I had an accident at work and spent a week at home recuperating. During that time I read a story called Jailbreak Justice in a book of cowboy stories and thought I could write as good or better yarn. I filled a dozen or so pages in an exercise book, called it The Texan (very original) and mailed it away. A couple of months later I received a cheque for six pounds fifteen shillings. After that I began writing fairly regularly and Cleveland Publications asked for novels of about 40,000 words." Keith went on to pen hundreds of westerns (the figure varies between 600 and 1000) under the names 'Kirk Hamilton' (including the legendary Bannerman the Enforcer series) and 'Brett Waring'. Keith also worked as a journalist for the Queensland Health Education Council, writing weekly articles for newspapers on health subjects and radio plays dramatising same. "I must have been mad, but can still remember belting out a series on Smoking and Lung Cancer with a packet of cigarettes beside my typewriter -- and going through them mighty fast!" Keith's other novels include The Scuba Buccaneers, Judas Coast, A Dragon Out of the South, The Naked Nemesis and Hammerhead Reef. He also worked as television scriptwriter on such Australian TV shows as Homicide, Matlock Police, Division 4, Solo One, The Box, The Spoiler and Chopper Squad. "I even did one film script for a spy yarn set in the Philippines," Keith recalls. "But wouldn't you know it -- the company went broke before it was filmed!"
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by Keith Hetherington
When a group of Aborigines accidentally set fire to the bush in a remote part of Queensland, they uncovered a vital secret dating back to the Second World War. Now people want them dead. Trouble is ... there is nowhere to hide.
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