Peter St John was born in London, at a time when worthless shares, and workless men littered the streets. His baptismal gift from two of the apostles was hard to live with in a Church-run orphanage destroyed in 1940 by Hitler's blitz. He was evacuated from the ruins to the countryside, where the Nazi aim again missed by a hair's breadth.
"Grammar" school was "Granpa" school: young men at battle replaced by oldies... and bright young women.
As an eager Air Force pilot, Peter navigated the winds, envied the birds, and learned the "arts" of war.
Back in Civvy street, Peter discovered marriage, fatherhood and Australia, He studied engineering and put letters after his name.
Aimed for the moon at Woomera, but hit the rusty desert instead. It's bloody hot, mate, in the sun; bloody cold at night. It's bloody deadly too at times, but strewth, so bloody lovely.
Came Sputnik, and the Cold War space-race. Peter rocketed to lend a hand in Europe, and discovered Paris, languages, and ELDO*. An office on three continents; one in sweltering French Guyana. Who'd volunteer for Devils Island except to rocket into space? But Europe's leap to orbit was crippled by political irresolution.**
So back to Australia where Peter now daily took "the liberty boat from shore" to reach the Navy's concrete HQ "ship" in Canberra. But the bold project for which he strove, never saw the sea. His ship was again scuttled by politics.
Disgruntled and unemployed, Peter set off for Parliament House, where miraculously he was offered a job helping Senators peer critically over Government's shoulder, and bring Parliament's Standing Committees to the people. Heady stuff. And then the PM asked him to join his staff!
But soon the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Geneva called, requesting participation in strengthening parliamentary democracy around the world. Six challenging years for Peter...
And so to fiction, with his first novel published in 2007. This has been followed by seven more.
Peter lives in France where he is president of a cultural association active in the promotion of creative activities.
He has a son, two grandsons, a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter.
* The long-defunct European Launcher Development Organisation.
**Subsequently re-activated as the European Space Agency with the highly successful "Ariane" project.