CENTRAL SYDNEY MAGAZINE – Wednesday 21 September 2016 – feature by Doug Conway
FALL IN LOVE WITH WAR STORIES: Sydney author’s passionate tale of tragedy and heartbreak has female readers turning the page.
WOMEN read more books than men but generally shy away from war stories – bad news if you’re an author whose historical fiction books are based on Aussies in World War II. But Glebe resident Justin Sheedy seems to have solved that problem with war stories that appeal to women, perhaps because they are really anti-war stories.
“Women are addicted to stories of violent deaths in forensic crime, serial killers, murder mysteries and even brain-eating zombies. But they don’t read war stories because they are violent,” the author of No Greater Love, a stand-alone book which is also the final part of a war trilogy, said. “To my delight I am able to get them on board. One female reader told me, ‘You made me cry in every chapter.’ To fall in love with the characters and then to lose them makes for the heartbreaking anti-war portrait I intended.”
His latest book is the saga of an Australian Spitfire pilot’s war journey through North Africa, Europe and England, his loyalty to his friends and his enduring love for the mother who abandoned him. The story, based on true events with characters modelled on real people, is a portrait of the wholesale waste of war, and sometimes even the humanity of his enemy.
“These young Aussies were the brightest of the brightest,” Sheedy said. “They had to be to fly a Spitfire. They volunteered to cross the world to fight the worst evil imaginable. How could you not want to write about that? This story is about the loss of young people cursed to do what they should never have to do – fight and finish old men’s wars. Why are we still doing it? Is it because we constantly need to be proving ourselves to the rest of the world? It’s an eternal question. Let’s keep addressing it.”
Sheedy’s passion is to write Australian narratives which tell “the story of us”. “I like holding up a mirror to Australians because we are still finding out who we are,” he said.
NO GREATER LOVE IS AVAILABLE AT DYMOCKS SYDNEY AND BROADWAY, ABBEYS, GLEEBOOKS AND BERKELOUW BOOKS LEICHHARDT
SOUTH COAST REGISTER – Wednesday 26 November 2014 – review by Frances Rand
FLYING HIGH: Justin Sheedy has written a book about the adventures of a World War II pilot – Quinn gets his wings – A novel set in World War II reveals the ups and downs of being a fighter pilot.
The son of Berry’s Angela and John Sheedy was recently in the town to talk about his novel Nor the Years Condemn. One of four books written by author Justin Sheedy, it tells the story of young university student and rugby union player Daniel Quinn who signs up to fight in World War II. Quinn takes so long to hear from Defence, he thinks he has been forgotten, but it is only a matter of months before his is training to be a pilot. The story follows his brief training in Australia and England where plenty of Matthew Reilly style adventure follows as Quinn gets his wings. Mr Sheedy has readers there in the cockpit as he describes young Quinn’s terror at experiencing blindness in a Wirraway monoplane. Fortunately it is only temporary. From there Quinn heads off to the UK, more training in Scotland, this time in Spitfires. He soon finds love, but war is no time for romance as Quinn discovers. Nor the Years Condemn also follows the effect of the war on Quinn’s family, via correspondence with his younger brother, also busting to see a bit of action. Although there is plenty of tragedy in the book, only one in three would survive, Nor the Years Condemn is at heart a great action story, with plenty of detail about what these planes were like to fly.
NORTHERN STAR WEEKENDER – Saturday 14 December 2013 – feature by Helen Hawkes
A Must-Read – WARTIME TALES – Title: Ghosts of the Empire – Author: Justin Sheedy
TRUE Australian stories of war and bravery and lives lost too young are the stock-in-trade of rising Australian author, Justin Sheedy. After the success of his first books, Goodbye Crackernight and Nor the Years Condemn, the self-published author, whose books will soon be available nationwide thanks to a large distribution deal, has penned Ghosts of the Empire.
As the storm of the Second World War breaks, Mick O’Regan is a peaceful Sydney working-class boy. Cursed to enter a world of high-speed life and death, he flies for the Royal Air Force Bomber Command. Ghosts of the Empire is also a story of young people living life to the full while they can – in a blacked-out world where dance partners, sex and death flow in equal abundance, says Sheedy. If you like a rollicking wartime story, you’ll love his latest adventure.
Sydney Morning Herald SPECTRUM Saturday 20th April 2013 – RISING AUSTRALIAN AUTHOR
JUSTIN SHEEDY – In the lead-up to Anzac Day, this rising Australian author will be signing copies of his latest book, Nor the Years Condemn. The historical novel brings to life the untold stories of young Australians who fought in World War II and the drama they left behind back home. Saturday, 10am, Dymocks Chatswood, shop 301 Westfield Shopping Centre, Chatswood, free, 9412 1630, dymocks.com.au.
AUTHOR’S SECOND A HISTORICAL WRAP – Northern District Times Wednesday 5 December 2012 – Article by Robbie Patterson / Picture by Robert Kennard
THE brave tales of Australian fighter pilots in the throes of war, love and youth have been immortalised in Justin Sheedy’s latest novel, Nor the Years Condemn. The book follows on from the success of his first book, Goodbye, Crackernight, which detailed his 1970s childhood in North Epping. His historical fiction book depicts the heroism of young Australians who trained as fighter pilots for the British Empire in World War II. Struggling to find a publisher to pick up the story earlier this year, Sheedy pursued publication through a print-on-demand system. “Publishing companies move slowly but surely, and I decided to publish it myself while I wait for them,” Sheedy said. However, the story has already generated interest through online buyers and Dymocks retail book stores. The Dymocks George St outlet has already placed orders for the book six times. The author attributes the book’s popularity to its focus on a largely untold chapter in Australia’s wartime history. “I’ve tried to put readers right in the cockpit with them, but Nor the Years Condemn is also very much a mother’s story as for every shining young man who flew a Spitfire there was the poor mother cursed to let him go,” Sheedy said. Readers have described the cockpit sequences as ‘brilliant’ and ‘cinematic’. “It isn’t just reading about the history but the young Australians who made it,” he said. Sheedy will be hosting a book signing at Dymocks Macquarie Centre on Saturday at 10am.
My sincerest thanks to Journalists Robbie Patterson & Robert Kennard & Northern District Times Editor, Colin Kerr
— Justin Sheedy
SEE FULL ARTICLE AT NORTHERN DISTRICT TIMES ONLINE
NOR THE YEARS CONDEMN NOW AVAILABLE AT DYMOCKS GEORGE ST SYDNEY, DYMOCKS BROADWAY, CHATSWOOD, MACQUARIE CENTRE, ROUSE HILL, BONDI JUNCTION & CAMBERWELL (VIC) Stores, ALSO AS PRINT-ON-DEMAND PAPERBACK AT AMAZON! CLICK HERE!
THE FIGHT FOR SURVIVAL – TALES OF SONS ARE COVERED By Robert Kennard. Picture: Brent McGilvary. Northern District Times, Wed 28 March 2012
TRUE stories of Australian fighter pilots in a battle of survival are the basis of Justin Sheedy’s latest book, Nor the Years Condemn. The historical fiction depicts the heroism of young Australian men who trained as fighter pilots for the British Empire in World War II.
“The best and brightest of a generation crossed the planet to fly and fight against Nazi tyranny and won,” Sheedy said. “It was the great sportsmen, the brains and young men of exceptional natural ability and character who went on to fly Spitfires, Mosquitos and Lancasters (with a) staggering one-in-three chance of survival.”
Readers have described cockpit-seat flying sequences as “brilliant” and “cinematic”, but Sheedy says the narrative moves beyond wartime feats. “It is also a story of the grieving mothers cursed to relinquish their wonderful sons to war, of first love, of strategic deception and betrayal, of brotherhood and once in-a-lifetime friendship on a knife’s edge,” he says. The book is a time capsule of World War II, with contextual language, location description and cultural attitudes dominant throughout the narrative.
Sheedy, whose first novel detailed his 1970s childhood in North Epping, said the book struggled to get picked by a major Australian publisher. In spite of this he persisted and followed the trend to publish online. Nor the Years Condemn is an e-book and has been published in Print-on-Demand Paperback at Amazon.
NORTH SHORE TIMES ANZAC DAY 2012 SPECIAL EDITION REVIEW OF NOR THE YEARS CONDEMN