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Richard Carroll grew up in Far North Queensland, Australia. In his younger days, he worked in a variety of jobs and travelled extensively around the world. He lived in France for 18 years where he had a short book on meditation published in French in 1992. In 2003 he had an environmental workbook for secondary students Ecosystems and Indigenous Peoples of the World published by Knowledge Books and Software in Brisbane. Richard obtained a BA at University of Queensland in 2006 with majors in Writing and Environmental Studies. He achieved first class Honours in 2009 at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with a memoir set in France. Richard completed a PhD in creative writing at QUT in 2014, which led to the publishing of the historical novel, Turrwan. His latest historical novel White Ghosts was published in 2019.

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Historical Fiction
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Historical Fiction

Tom Petrie arrives with his family at the notorious Moreton Bay Penal Colony (Brisbane, Australia) in 1837, aged six. From the first day, he encounters a vicious convict, who, over the years, becomes his mortal enemy bent on revenge.
Tom makes friends with the Turrbal, learning their language and customs. He is initiated as a “turrwan” (great man) and discovers forbidden love with the daughter of a hostile tribal leader.
Tom is torn by the conflict between whites and blacks on the violent frontier with enemies in both camps. When his world is shattered by tragedy, he sinks into the abyss in the southern gold fields. Tom returns to Brisbane to rebuild his life, but his old tormentor has other plans.
This is a tale of coming of age, adventure, love and payback based on the real-life figure of Tom Petrie and set against the historical background of colonial Australia.

Richard J Carroll knows how to write and how to tell a clear and entertaining story. His writing is very effective, and professionally constructed and edited. He communicates in a deft, subtle manner that reminds me of the likes of Patrick White and Kate Grenville.
His writing is a pleasure to read and he has a distinctive style. The story he creates in Turrwan is a clean, easy to follow construction. The parts that really shine are his portrayals and understandings of Aboriginal people and their values.
Rob Kennedy

Historical Fiction

Historical epic White Ghosts is set against the tumultuous background of Brisbane's founding, a saga of three generations of the Petrie family spanning one hundred years.

In 1824 felon Sean Kelly arrives at Moreton Bay with a contingent of soldiers and convicts to establish a penal colony. Local Aboriginal tribes face a dilemma: resist or succumb? Meanwhile, in Edinburgh, Andrew Petrie witnesses the massive fire that destroys a large section of the city.

From the wilds of Moreton Bay to the streets of Edinburgh and Sydney, from the southern goldfields back to the notorious penal colony at Brisbane this gripping tale explores the notions of payback, resilience, survival, love against all odds, the clash of cultures and reconciliation. The novel also examines relationships between blacks and whites on the violent Queensland frontier.

While White Ghosts is fiction, deep down it is a meticulously researched, moving history of early Queensland.

I enjoyed White Ghosts enormously; it also made me think about how the European occupation of this country was managed and Queensland came to be the place it is.

The characterisation of mostly real people is intriguing and I found that I cared about them all, both evil and “normal”, to the end of the book, and it gave me a much better insight into why things are as they are here - so a useful book on a number of fronts.

Altogether an intriguing and highly readable book, that held my attention till the very last page.
Tony Cole

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