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Early in 2007 I was scrounging around for publicity for my first book (Slapped by an Angel, co-authored with Kym Crosbie), when I was presented with an interesting counter-offer by Charles Wooley, who I knew from my television days at Channel 9. In essence the deal was I could plug Slapped all I wanted, providing I jumped in a campervan and ventured out 'where the horizon meets the sky', sourcing and broadcasting stories for Charles' radio program, Across Australia. So out I went. When I set off I had real idea what to expect, indeed I was too pre-occupied with trying to promote the book to pay much attention to what was going on around me. But slowly the journey changed me, and one by one the people I encountered opened up my narrow, city-centric view of the bush, and left me with a snapshot of rural Australia early in the twenty-first century. I spoke to many hundreds of people engaged in all sorts of weird and wonderful pursuits, and had the rare experience of seeing the country through the eyes of the people who kw it best. In other words, this was holiday jaunt from one tourist attraction to ather, but an honest look at life in regional Australia. From drought to flooding rains, through changing seasons and federal governments, I wandered the country listening, learning and gathering as many threads as I could manage, before sewing them together to form this patchwork quilt of book called Red in the Centre.