Media Kit

    The media kit includes a Destiny in Sydney fact sheet, book cover images and photographs of the author that may be downloaded, and an interview with the author titled "An American's Obsession with Sydney" that may be useful for a human-interest article.

Fact Sheet

Title of book: Destiny in Sydney

Subtitle on the front cover: An epic novel of convicts, Aborigines, and Chinese embroiled in the birth of Sydney, Australia
SequelGift of Sydney
Subtitle on the front cover: An epic novel of the struggle to forge the multicultural, world-class city of Sydney, Australia

Author name: D. Manning Richards
Brief biography: He has lived and worked in Sydney, Australia, from 1972-5, 2000-3, and 2012-14, for a total of nearly nine years. He holds Bachelor of Science and Master of City Planning and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. His interests in history and traveling led to writing historical novels.

Author's country and state: USA, Virginia
Author's website: www.dmanningrichards.com

Fiction genre
: Historical, saga, action-adventure.

Intended audience: Adult historical fiction readers interested in the history of Sydney, Australia, and travel organizations that promote travel to Sydney and Australia. 

: Aries Books
Publisher's address: Washington, DC

Publisher's telephone number: 703-953-0901
Publishers website: www.ariesbooks.com
Book distributor worldwide: Ingram Inc.

Destiny in Sydney publication date
: July 1, 2012

ISBN number: 978-0-9845410-0-3

Library of Congress Control Number: 2011912813
Book availability:  Paper book and ebook
Number of pages: 492 pages
Particulars: Table of contents, five illustrations, bibliography, and reading group guide.
Price of paper book: USA $13.99
Price of ebook: USA $9.99

Gift of Sydney publication date: October 1, 2014
ISBN number: 978-0-9845410-3-4
Book availability: Paper book and ebook

Number of pages: 360 pages
Particulars: Table of contents, three illustrations, bibliography, and reading group guide.
Price of paper book: USA $13.99
Price of ebook: USA $9.99

Sharon Soemann
Vice-President of Publishing
Aries Books - Fiction




             An American's Obsession with Sydney

    The interview of me below was a project of my writing group in 2009. It was taped, reduced to typing, and never published. Nevertheless, it was a worthwhile exercise, because it helped me realize why I devoted more than ten years of my life to researching and writing two historical novels about the City of Sydney. The answer is simple: I am enchanted and obsessed with this exceptional city.

    Question and answer interviews do not normally have titles, but I added the one above because it reflects the subject matter. I referred to the interview in writing the Author's Note in my novel. I may write an article from the substance of the interview to promote Destiny in Sydney or perhaps a human-interest newspaper reporter will write one for me.

Q: How young were you when you first thought of becoming a writer?

 A: I first thought about it when my creative writing professor told me I should become a writer. That was in my freshman year of architecture at Pennsylvania State University. I considered becoming a writer for maybe ten minutes. I had only taken the elective course to get an “A.” I next considered it in 1976, seriously this time, after my wife and I had returned from three years abroad, two of them living and working in Sydney. I thought of writing about our travels and Sydney; although, I didn’t know whether it would be fiction or nonfiction. I even enrolled in a composition course at a community college, but stopped attending when it became dogmatic. I was working at the National Capital Planning Commission then and didn’t have the time to pursue it further. Writing had to wait until 1999, when my wife and I were selling our way out of our real estate development business. I had decided to write historical novels with Sydney as my obvious first choice. We were financially secure, so I could finally try my hand at writing a novel.

Q: You’ve written a regional novel in faraway Australia, what made you think it would sell in America?

A: I didn’t think much about marketability when I started it. We wanted to live in Sydney again, so it just came to me naturally to write my first historical novel about Sydney with its manageable two hundred-year history. It was something I had thought about doing for years. Michener had done it all over the world, so I thought I could do it. Also, my research indicated that no one had written a historical novel about Sydney’s entire history in one book.


Q: Why a historical novel? You said earlier you didn’t know if you would write fiction or nonfiction.

A: I’ve had a thirst for historical knowledge since my first year in college, but mostly on the sensational side, like The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer and This Kind of War by Fehrenbach. My wife’s undergraduate degree is in history and economics. She bought me The Outline of History by H. G. Wells followed by The Death of a President, which hooked me on broader history. I also enjoy social history like Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel. But my favorite book is Shogun by Clavell and many of Herman Wouk’s historical novels. I like history combined with action and adventure. Straight history is too confining for me to write.


Q: One of your three main families is Chinese, why is that?

A: It was a big decision. I wasn’t sure it would work until I got into it. It all goes back to 1973 when my wife and I shared a long table in a crowded Sydney Chinatown restaurant with a captivating, erudite Chinese-Australian couple seated opposite us. They told us that the Chinese were a much larger percentage of the population in the late-1800s during the gold rush years, but they had been forced out by the White Australia Policy. At the time, I didn’t know there had been a gold rush and thought the White Australia Policy was against the Aborigines. Years later, I decided I needed the Chinese to tell the gold rush story, to humanize the White Australia Policy, and to remind readers that Australia is near Asia, as ridiculous as that may sound.


Q: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that Australia did not have a revolution, civil war, invasion, or any major internal or external conquests, so what did you find in their history that will excite American readers?

A: You’re inferring that Australia’s history is boring, but it isn’t. It’s full of action and adventure. The first fleet of convicts nearly starved to death. The Aborigines fought the invasion of their lands the best they could. The colonist battled the British Redcoats at Eureka Stockade; the British won, but were smart enough after losing America to give the Australians what they wanted. There was a coup against Governor-General Bligh’s rule, the same Bligh who suffered the mutiny of the Bounty. Charles Darwin and Mark Twain visited Sydney. The so-called Chinese problem mirrors our own racism in America. Americans will be fascinated by the history of their cousins in Australia.



Q: We've talked a lot about Australia but not much about Sydney, the subject of your novel. Why did you chose to tell the history of only one city rather than the entire country?


A: Well, I have a city planning degree and just fell in love with the city. I think it is one of the most beautiful and livable cities in the world. Sydney was where the first fleet of convicts arrived, you know, so the first forty years of Sydney’s history is Australia’s history. My characters’ travels and adventures allow me to tell the broader history of the entire country.



Q: Did you expect that your novel would take this long to write?


A: It’s been ten years; I thought it would take three. My fascination with the history of Sydney, and Australia, became a bit of an obsession, I’m afraid.

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