“I’ve often thought I’d like to write something about what our soldiers have been through – post-traumatic stress disorder and what life is like when they get back, but I didn’t want to be an expert on it, so I wanted to write a fiction – so I did.”
The book is set in Melbourne, Vietnam and Afghanistan. While two of the main characters are a veteran and a soldier, another is a plus size model.
“I got the character Grace Moore from a plus size model I interviewed for a newspaper piece that I wrote a few years ago,” Justin explained.
“I was struck by the way they are and their attitude after they spent the first half of their lives feeling ashamed of themselves, then they burst out and quite literally took most of their clothes off and became models.
“They’ve got such a strength about them that I really like and really gravitated towards, so I put the character in.
“She was going to be quite a minor character when I started writing it, but she ended up being a very important part of the story.”
Justin explains that ‘Babies of the Rose’ explores the themes of war, conflict, trauma, mental health and personal healing.
“They’re three people who have been battered around, but they come together and their lives change again,” Justin said.
“I really hope that there is some hope in there and some love in there as well. That’s what I wanted to get across, that there is still a chance to come back from some of these things.”
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