Interview With Awarding Winning Novelist Carole Brungar

How many books have you written and how do you decide on the plot?

I published my first novel, A Tide Too High, back in 2014. It took about nine months to write and some two years to re-write. I’m preparing to publish my 5th novel and my 4th Vietnam related story. The Vietnam War has not only done monumental damage to veterans and their families, but it’s had such a wide spread impact on communities and countries.

My Vietnam love stories, although totally fictitious, are inspired by real events. Although we hear of thousands of military personnel sleeping with Vietnamese women and the women and child being abandoned, there were also many heart-wrenching love stories. It’s not hard to come up with a storyline, although great imagination helps.

What fascinates you about the Vietnam war era?

The army. Weapons. The men. The stories. I’ve had a fascination with the Vietnam War for more than 35 years. That’s a long time to build what is now a rather large collection of books and CDs. I guess it started with programmes like M.A.S.H. although that was set during the Korean War. I loved the setting and the script, and of course I went on to become hooked on programmes like China Beach and Tour of Duty. Ultimately I love the 60s. I think they were a decade of so much change, interesting things happening, the music, hippie culture, the pill, protests, clothes and hairstyles. And men were a lot different then, than they are today.

What authors do you enjoy reading and why?

I have quite a few favourite authors: Noel Barber, Nelson DeMille, Danielle Steel, Janet Evanovich, Nicholas Sparks, Tilly Bagshawe, Taylor Jenkins Reid. My new favourite author is Lucinda Riley. I haven’t read her Seven Sisters series, but I’ve read all her stand alone novels. They’re great reading.

With strong themes of Love and War have you considered moving into any other genre?

My first novel was women’s fiction, and I’ll be writing more in that genre at some stage. For now, I’m enjoying commercial fiction, and those books have won quite a few awards, so I’ll keep going. I love a great love story.

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

First, I’d have to say the research. I love it. I’ve had to do so much to get the historical details in the Vietnam stories as close to correct as possible, but the tricky part comes from knowing what to include and what exclude. Sometimes I can spend days researching a specific subject only to use a tiny fraction of what I learnt. I’ve met some very interesting people too.

Are you working on anything new?

Yes. I’m preparing to publish Loving Summer which is my 4th Vietnam novel. It tells the story of Summer, a young girl who sends a Christmas card to an unknown soldier serving in Vietnam and the relationship that forms between them. And I’ve almost completed the final story in the Vietnam series, Return to Vietnam. It’s about one of the characters from the first two stories, The Nam Legacy and The Nam Shadow, who goes back to Vietnam to find her family. I’m also in the middle of researching for the story after that, so lots of new work coming.



The Nam Legacy is on sale at 99c on  —