John’s latest book, published in March 2014 is Brothers - Part One: Gallipoli 1915. The first in his four part historical novel series on World War One. He had two uncles at Gallipoli and melds their story into the experience of many at Gallipoli by using the fictional style of a novel to convey the horror of war as well as real events and historical characters. He throws away the rose-coloured glasses, showing that some senior Australian officers were just as bad as their British counterparts when it came to causing the slaughter of their own soldiers in futile charges against machine guns. This book demystifies war and brings home the everyday horror of it.
He’s also produced four radio documentaries for ABC Radio National/RN: Bush Fires, Ups and Downs of Scaffolding, The Last Ship Built in the Dockyard [HMAS Success in Sydney’s Cockatoo Island Dockyard] and Underground about Lithgow Mine Rescue in the Western Coal fields and Triple J’s World Environment Day Special in 1991. He’s also made three films The Occupation of Cockatoo Island Dockyard 1989, No Blood For Oil on the 1990 Gulf War, and The Deregistration of the Builders Labourers Federation-the Victorian Story 1986-1992. He’s also been involved in community radio since 1987 and the magazine Green Left Weekly since 1990.
Before becoming a history teacher in 2000, he worked in a variety of blue collar jobs as a labourer, scaffolder, rigger, dogman, railway fettler, painter and docker.
In 2006 he set up the website Tog's Place.Com. The name Tog's comes from the Cobb and Co way station, Togs’s Place, where his Italian grandfather Antonio Tognolini and grandmother Annie, native born of English and Irish convicts, used to work and live with their 13 children, from the Victorian Gold Rush to it becoming the family farm in Yandoit in Central Victoria.
He has a First Class Honours Degree in Communications from the University of Technology, Sydney and a Diploma of Secondary Education from the University of Western Sydney.
He lived in Katoomba for sixteen years before moving to Wellington in Central West New South Wales in 2008. The Mountain City Murders, his first novel, was published by Adelaide’s Ginninderra Press in 2010. His autobiographical account of heart disease Singing Johnny Cash in the Cardiac Ward, A Personal Story of Heart Disease and Music was published in 2013; both are available through Writers and Ebooks. He is currently completing his historical novel series Brothers with the following three parts concentrating on the Western Front in France and Belgium from 1916 to 1918.