Gladstone criminals serve as the inspiration for a novel
JOHN Cunnington's years spent working with Gladstone's criminals during the 1980s have inspired content for his third novel, Portrait of an Angel.
The former guard at Etna Creek Prison remembers our town as an industrial centre hosting a population of community-minded people.
"I think my five years as the senior probation officer in central Queensland was one of the most rewarding and enjoyable times in my life," he said.
"In the eighties I loved the easy-going attitude of the locals and the community spirit. It was an industrial centre, (with a) transient population, but with a core of people intent on making it a great place in which to live."
Portrait of an Angel is a crime thriller, centering around the life and times of protagonist Sebastian Kuhl.
Supplementary character Jeffrey Nesral acts as the face of Gladstone in the novel.
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"He, accompanied by his wife, attended a charity night at the old picture theatre in Gladstone. Later they were accosted by two drunken men, an incident that left two men dead and Jeffrey with a substantial prison sentence," he explained.
"It was through Jeffrey's prison sentence that he was able to supply information to the main character, Sebastian Kuhl, that was the significant turning point in the case."
Cunnington will be revisiting his old haunting ground on May 9 to officially launch his novel, sign copies, and answer questions from his eager fan base.
"My greatest love about writing is being able to tell a story that stirs the emotions of readers," he said.
"A friend once commented that he could see and feel the emotions of the characters and I took that as a great compliment."
John Cunnington will be officially launching his third novel, Portrait of an Angel, and presenting an author's commentary on May 9 at 10am at the Gladstone Library.