Australian author, Paula Astridge, was born in the country town of Inverell (NSW). She worked for Rolling Stone Magazine and the newspaper industry before co-founding a successful advertising agency in Sydney. In 2001, she moved on to pursue her writing career on a full-time basis.
“I always had a profound interest in history,” Astridge said, “forever fascinated, as I am, by the psyche of the heroes and villains who made it.”
Three of her books are written from the WW2 German perspective, telling the in-depth stories of the controversial Albert Speer (Golden Boy); Albert Goering and flying Ace, Ernst Udet (In the Way of the Reich); while Kill the Fuhrer exposes the horrific tale of Admiral Canaris and Count von Stauffenberg’s failed plot to assassinate Hitler. In her fourth, Scallywag, she switches sides to delve into the murky world of the Allied underground, the true story of the real James Bond, and the mysterious wartime disappearance of Flight 777 over the Bay of Biscay. Stepping further back in time, Astridge then moved from Hitler’s inner circle to focus on Australia.
“Not many people realize the key role Australia has played in world history,” she said. “I set about rectifying the situation by basing my fifth and sixth books on sensational stories set closer to home.”
Waltzing Dixie tells the hereto unknown story of Australians who fought in the American Civil War and is under consideration for a movie, while Bad Hand puts a surprising twist on the old tale of the Bounty mutiny, winning Astridge a nomination, by the First Lord of the Admiralty, for the prestigious UK Mountbatten Maritime Literary Award.
“In all my books I set out to challenge the world’s preconceived prejudices about infamous men condemned by history. There are two sides to every story and I write mine from an intriguing new angle which re-assesses their guilt. It’s amazing what research, untainted by public opinion, brings to light.”
So how could she resist returning to the scene of WW2 to write the story of the extraordinary and enigmatic Baron von Braun in her latest book: Rocket Man. He was the father of the V-2 rocket and the Apollo 11, but the unproved allegation that he was also guilty of war crimes makes his story ripe for Astridge’s picking.