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BY JIM GAINSFORD
29/04/2008 9:34:41 AM
CHRISTOPHER Holcroft's motto has always been: "live the adventure".
Now the Banksia resident has drawn on his experiences in the Army Reserve and the Venturers to write an adventure story for young adult readers.
A former reporter and public relations executive, Mr Holcroft is a lieutenant-colonel in the Australian Army Reserve who has served in Iraq, the Middle East, Timor, Bougainville and Papua New Guinea.
He has been involved in the scouting movement, running Venturer Scout units in Victoria
and NSW for more than 30 years.
Mr Holcroft has published his first novel, a modern day adventure story called Only the Brave Dare, aimed at readers 11-18.
Mr Holcroft describes the book as a modern Biggles or the Secret Seven. It is the story of a group of
Venturers who explore a wrecked submarine while on holiday.
Unfortunately for them, the Russian Mafia has also used the wreck to pick up drugs dropped
from a mother ship.
The Russians take the Venturers captive and hold them in a former convict jail.
It is up to the most unassuming Venturer to find a way to escape and fight to save his fellow Venturers.
Mr Holcroft describes his book as pure adventure and escapism.
"There are no magic wands, just a story with
pace," he said. "This book celebrates the positives of youth and how
they can do good.
"It is based on a real character, an unassuming
young man who ended up being a hero to the Australian community by
a number of people from burning buildings."
Writing is a family tradition for Mr Holcroft. His grandfather, Monte Holcroft, was the editor of the New Zealand Listener and a UNESCO correspondent and his uncle, Anthony Holcroft, is a popular children's author in New Zealand.
"I first thought of the story-line when I was 13 but only got around to writing it last year because I was too busy," he said.
Once he finally started the book he found he couldn't stop, writing it on the run on his PDA (personal digital organiser) on buses, trains and ferries.
"Sometimes I missed the train or bus because I got caught up in the moment and couldn't stop writing," he said.
Mr Holcroft plans the book as the first of a trilogy. The next book, Canyon, is already written and he his halfway through writing the third book.
Now that he has realised his dream of publishing his first adventure novel, Mr Holcroft is awaiting the opinions of three most important readers - his sons Luke, 22, Jason, 21, and Simon, 20.
"I can't wait for them to read it," he said.www.poseidonbooks.com/