Joanne van Os was just twenty-two when she met Rod Ansell. At twenty-three Rod was already a legend in Australia and around the world, having survived alone for two months without supplies in one of the harshest and most remote parts of rthern Australia. To Joanne, Rod was a a genuine hero who could do anything, could make anything out of thing, told the funniest yarns, had a philosophy on everything. She married him, and they had two beautiful sons who idolised their father. Together they lived the tough life of outback bull catchers and cattle musterers. But as time went on Joanne came to realise that Rod was both a complicated and deeply troubled man. For the sake of her sons she never gave up on Rod, even after their divorce, but just how far he'd gone only became apparent when his life ended in tragedy: out of his mind on drugs, Rod became involved in a shootout in which a young police office was killed. 'How does someone, whose extraordinary story of survival in the wild inspired so many Australians, become a psychotic, drug-crazed gunman?' Joanne asks. OUTBACK HEART captures the Territory life on paper: the dust, the heat, the struggle and the larger-than-life characters. But it's also a deeply moving and powerful story of a love affair and a marriage, and the pain when it all falls apart. It's the story of Rod Ansell, but even more it is Joanne's story, of how a young, naive woman grows up the hard way, and has the most exhilarating and the most heartbreaking times doing it.
Joanne van Os was born in 1955, and grew up in Melbourne. Her first book, OUTBACK HEART, is a best-selling memoir about life with her first husband, the 'Real Crocodile Dundee' Rod Ansell, mustering wild cattle and buffalo and living a 19th century lifestyle in remote parts of the Northern Territory, and his tragic end in 1999. She followed this book with three children's novels, all set in the far north of Australia and written for the 10 - 14 age group. She lives with her husband Lex Silvester on a yacht in Darwin, NT, and continues to write. Her most recent novel, THE SECRET OF THE LONELY ISLES, was published in February 2011.
Joanne Van Os
Transworld Publishers (Division of Random House Australia)