Welcome to Australian author Richard J Carroll’s website. Richard writes about the past through historical fiction and memoir. His first novel Turrwan is set in Queensland in the nineteenth century.
Learn about history in a fun way through the historical novel.
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. As Tom grows up in the harsh environment of the fledgling penal colony, he makes friends with the local Aboriginal people, the Turrbal, who teach him their language and their customs. He is initiated by the Turrbal as a “turrwan” (great man) and discovers forbidden love with the daughter of a tribal leader who opposes the whites. Tom is torn by the conflict between whites and blacks on the violent frontier and has enemies in both camps. When his world is shattered by tragedy, he sinks into the abyss in the New South Wales 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.
You can download a short extract (PDF) from the novel here: extract
Check out the Gallery for images relating to some of the people and places in Turrwan.
My novel Turrwan is published by FeedARead.com in the UK and is available on their site.
A Kindle ebook and paperback are available from Amazon: TURRWAN
Header Image: “The Moreton Bay Penal Settlement” 1835 by Henry Bowerman. The only remaining structures from that time are the windmill on the hill on the left on what is now Wickham Terrace, and the Commissariat Store, the large building abutting the hill on the right and visible from the Riverside Expressway.