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Deb turns story into novel

Thursday, 1st May, 2014

Deb Hunt (far right) with Rachael Johns, Joy McKean and Cheryl Akle. Deb Hunt (far right) with Rachael Johns, Joy McKean and Cheryl Akle.

By By Andrew Robertson

Failed-at-love Londoner moves to Australia where she meets the man of her dreams in the outback.

Former local Deb Hunt’s experience didn’t quite pan out that way but it came pretty close - apart from the man of her dreams bit.

Unlucky in love and life in general, Hunt’s decision to make drastic change a number of years ago involved leaving London and heading to Australia for a job with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

What happens next is the basis for Hunt’s first novel, “Love in the Outback”, which goes on sale today.

Hunt lays out for all to read her personal journey of finally discovering love in the most unlikely place and in the most unlikely man - a “share-trading, sports-mad Liberal” and icon of the RFDS.

The place is Broken Hill and the man is none other than former South Eastern Section chief executive Clyde Thomson, whom Hunt met while working as a PR assistant for the Flying Doctor. 

Readers will not only learn more about Hunt but also gain a greater insight into the RFDS and the man largely responsible for the SE Section’s expanding operations and role of health care provider.

Broken Hill also gets a good rap. 

“The book I’ve written charts a very personal journey from heartache to joy, and a lot of it takes place in Broken Hill,” the author said.

“I admit I had reservations about moving to a mining town in the middle of the outback but I soon realised that my preconceived ideas bore no relationship to reality.

“I learnt that Broken Hill is a vibrant, welcoming town where friends are easy to find, where kindness and community still matter and where there is never any shortage of entertainment.

“I made friends from all walks of life and I learnt first-hand what extraordinary work is done by people in many organisations, including the Sydney University Department of Rural Health and the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

“Most of all I learnt that love is not something to be afraid of.”

The novel has already attracted the sort of attention from metropolitan newspapers that any first-published author would be happy to write home about.   

She was also invited to take part in the May episode of The Book Circle, a program which airs on popular website mamamia.

“Being invited to join a panel that included legendary singer-songwriter Joy McKean, who was married to Slim Dusty for over fifty years, and best-selling romance author Rachael Johns was a great privilege.”

Hunt and Thomson moved to Sydney earlier this year after his position was relocated to the State’s capital. 

“I want to thank all those people who welcomed me when I first arrived, especially members of the Broken Hill Women’s Auxiliary, and I hope people from ‘away’ who read this book will consider visiting one day. I know I will always be glad to come back.”

“Love in the Outback” ($29.99) is available from the RFDS Visitor Centre and at Browzer’s Bookshop on Argent Street. 

Deb Hunt, who is also donating two copies to the BH library, will also be selling signed copies at Agfair this weekend. Look out for her in the Rotary Club Pavilion.

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