Andrew Kepitis-Andrews is well-versed in adventure and craftsmanship.
The Baltic-born Valla local has flirted with enough adventure to fill a few tomes after bolting from the bullets, bombs and borders of the Third Reich, the Iron Curtain, and apartheid.
After settling in Australia and smoking artisanal meat products for decades at his Valla Smokehouse, he has since turned his creative attentions towards crafting the written word.
He now sits at an old wooden desk, surrounded by tobacco pipes-- ‘one for each day of the week’-- and writes until his heart’s content.
“I write because I enjoy it. It was something I always wanted to do but never wanted to make a living out of. I never wanted to be a poor writer in the garret, see?” Andrew said.
Andrew Kepitis-Andrews is about to launch his sixth literary triumph since 2014 in the guise of a rollicking adventure novel, rife with diamonds, pirates and ‘boyzone stuff’.
Jeb’s Legacy, he says, is the adventure story he always wanted to write.
The book follows the capers of a young Queensland cad, Sandy, as he naively attempts to smuggle ‘enough diamonds to buy three countries’ out of South Africa amidst the heat of the Boer War.
“And if I do say so myself, I think the ending is brilliant,” Andrew said.
He counts Rafael Sabatini among his many influences and says that Jeb’s Legacy promises to faithfully adhere to the style of high-flying historical escapades which characterised the writing of the English-Italian author.
The indefatigable wordsmith turns 77 in a couple of months, but Andrew says he has at least another three books still in him, including a sequel (of sorts) to his autobiography Mostly Behind the ‘8’ Ball which will he says will deliver the smoking gun to an insider treachery that has enveloped his family.
“While I last, I’ll keep writing,” Andrew said.
Jeb’s Legacy will be launched at the Nambucca RSL Club this Friday, August 11 at 5pm.
All are invited to attend, and wine and nibblies will be provided.