Home » Springfield resident travels back in time for debut novel

Springfield resident travels back in time for debut novel

Guy Hazlewood    June 7, 2024    2 min read   

Springfield resident Darren Bennett has put a twist on his life-changing experience of surviving Cyclone Tracy in a new novel.

The debut novel aptly titled 25.12.74, takes readers on an intriguing journey back to the devastating events of December 1974 through time travel.

Author Darren Bennett. Source: darrenbennett.com.au

The catastrophic event that struck Darwin on Christmas Day in 1974 left an indelible mark on Darren and his family, prompting a journey that spanned several decades.

“I was 12 years of age. I was a kid and survived the Cyclone with my family,” Darren said.

“We’d only moved up to Darwin six months prior after Dad got a job as an accountant.”

Their new life in Darwin was abruptly shattered when Cyclone Tracy unleashed its fury.

“The cyclone came through and absolutely destroyed the house, and we survived by the skin of our teeth,” he said.

The devastation forced Darren’s family to temporarily relocate to Brisbane before eventually returning to Darwin.

The traumatic experience of Cyclone Tracy lingered in Darren’s mind, eventually inspiring him to write a novel about it.

“A few years ago, I thought, you know, I’d love to write about my experience in Cyclone Tracy,” Darren said.

“I’d written a couple of books already and I thought, nah, let’s try a novel, do something different.”

Darren immersed himself in extensive research, by flying back to Darwin and talking to locals.

“I flew up to Darwin, did a whole heap of research, and read a whole heap of transcripts of people going through the cyclone,” he said.

I gathered a lot of history and started to put pen to paper.”

The writing process, spanning almost three years, was challenging and rewarding.

“Writing a novel is unlike anything I’ve ever done,” he said.

“It’s incredibly challenging, especially historical novels because you’ve got to get everything right.”

Drawing heavily on his personal experiences and family history, Darren’s novel explores themes of time travel and regret.

“I’ve always been fascinated by time travel and I do look at the subject of regrets and I think, oh gosh, I wish I hadn’t done that, if only, you know,” he said.

Readers can look forward to a gripping tale that not only captures the harrowing experience of Cyclone Tracy but also offers a poignant reflection on life’s pivotal moments.

 25.12.74 can be preordered through Darren’s website at darrenbennett.com.au

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Guy Hazlewood