Sunday, May 30, 2010
Another book, another blog...
Here it is, hot off the presses and coming to an Australian bookshop near you on Tuesday, June 1 (if it's not already in store yet) - my latest book, WAR DOGS.
WAR DOGS is the autobiography of Shane Bryant, an Aussie explosive detection dog handler working in Afghanistan. Shane and I wrote his story over a period of months last year in between his stints working as a civilian contractor in the 'ghan (as we used to call that terrible place when I was there with the army in 2002).
Shane is an ex Australian Army and NSW Police dog handler who took a job working as a civilian dog handler in Afghanistan in 2006 as a means of getting on top of his debts.
But it wasn't all about the money. Shane, like a lot of ex military people I know, wanted to go to Afghanistan to put the skills he'd learned in the army and the police to the ultimate test, on the field of battle.
He's a top bloke and I really enjoyed working with him on this book. There are loads of stories about the various dogs he's worked with over the years, including Ziggy, who was as laid back as Scooby Do; Ricky who loved nothing better than chasing Afghan civilians and motorcycles; and Benny the Bouncer, a dog so fierce in the kennels that the attendants used to slide his food in to him rather than open the door.
As well as telling how it is to work with dogs in one of the world's most dangerous places, WAR DOGS also provides an insight into the way the war is being fought in Afghanistan. Shane has been attached to US Special Forces and Canadian military units over the past four years. He's been in numerous firefights and, at those times, he's been expected to man his gun and function as a fighting member of the team he's with, not just as their dog handler. Good, gripping stuff, if I do say so myself.
Shane's providied a fantastic set of pictures for the centre spread of the book and I'll posting the odd on on a new WAR DOGS blog we've set up to shamelessly promote the book. On the blog you'll find videos, pics and interviews with Shane and some recent press clippings.
So, go to the blog, and then buy the book, because Shane has five kids from two previous relationships to support, and I have a wife who doesn't want to work anymore.
Hope you enjoy it!