Hampshire writer’s childhood inspires hit book
Added: (Fri Feb 15 2019)
Pressbox (Press Release) -
A former Foreign Office worker from Hampshire has gone back to her Asian childhood to reach the charts with her debut novel.
Becky Curtis Jones experienced the Malayan Emergency first-hand during the 1950s as communist guerrillas fought with Commonwealth forces.
Now aged 74, the grandmother has published her first thriller, The Rain in Pahang, based on the struggles of native fighters.
Becky admits many of the characters in her stunning first book are based on real people.
She said: “I was a child in Malaya at the time I am writing about and much of my character Mary is me.
“One of the other characters, Geraldine, is my mother and she did work in Special Branch, in the police and she did fly Tiger Moths.
“My mother also raced in the Johore Grand Prix – she was the first woman driver ever in a Grand Prix.
“The background to The Rain in Pahang is based on archives left by my mother, and my own memories, as well as a lot of research about the British/Special Branch conduct of the war.”
The Malayan Emergency continued for almost 12 years.
The death toll reached well over 6,000 – mainly civilians – on both sides of the conflict.
Over the years there have been contrasting accounts of why the war started and tactics used by both sides.
Becky’s well-researched and first-hand account brings a balanced and powerful argument to the table.
She added: “My book is about the colonial attitudes of the time, emphasised by telling the story of the guerrillas from the communist perspective and how the war came about.
“From their point of view it was British incompetence in World War II which led to the Japanese occupation and the subsequent chaos.
“I learned how the guerrillas operated from reading the leader Chin Peng’s version of events.
“I also discovered that Agent Orange - the herbicide used by the Americans in Vietnam with tragic consequences - was developed by the British and first used by them in the Malayan Emergency, spraying guerrilla crops.
“It was called by the guerrillas ‘death rain’ – and hence my title The Rain in Pahang.”
Since the publication of The Rain in Pahang, it has reached number nine in Amazon’s highly-competitive political novel charts.
For more details, visit Amazon and search for Becky Curtis Jones, where the paperback and Kindle formats of The Rain in Pahang are both available.
Notes to the editor
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