Rob Mundle, author of Bligh: Master Mariner, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

by |October 21, 2010

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Rob Mundle

author of Bligh: Master Mariner, Fatal Storm and Hell on High Seas

Ten Terrifying Questions


1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born in Sydney, brought up and schooled on the northern beaches, and eight years ago moved to Main Beach on the Gold Coast.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

At twelve, I wanted to be a yacht designer; at 18, I wanted to be a journalist, and at 30 I just wanted to be happy.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

That marriages last forever….

4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?

The things that influenced my life most were becoming the first cadet journalist in the Sydney office of The Australian newspaper when it was launched; doing the live international TV call of Australia’s victory in the America’s Cup in 1983; and learning from my wonderful grandfather that the only three words that matter in life are ‘happiness is everything’.

5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? aren’t they obsolete?

Books, as such, aren’t obsolete – yet. However I believe the opportunity will present itself for my latest book, Bligh, to venture into the world of electronic media at some stage.

6. Please tell us about your latest book…

Bligh: Master Mariner, you discover how much more there is to Captain Bligh than his infamous bad temper. Meet a 24-year-old Master Bligh as he witnesses the demise of his Captain and mentor Cook; a 34-year-old Lieutenant Bligh at the helm of the famous Bounty then cast adrift by Fletcher Christian on an epic 47 day open-boat voyage from Tonga to Timor; and a 36-year-old Captain Bligh as he takes HMS Providence, in the company of a young Matthew Flinders, on a grand scientific voyage around the world. And all this before he was forty. Bligh puts you at the heart of a great nautical life – it’s a story that embraces the romance of the sea, bravery in battle, the adventure of exploration under sail and the cost of having the courage of your convictions.

7. If your work could change one thing in this world – what would it be?

Encourage people to seek adventure and enjoy the world they live in.

8. Whom do you most admire and why?

Bob Oatley: a man who started life filling ink-wells and delivering mail across Sydney by hand. Through hard work and a steadfast belief in good friends and teamwork, he built an empire which today, as a philanthropist and genuine ‘good guy’, he shares with fellow Australians.

9. Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

My one ambition in life is to enjoy everything I do.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Believe in your talent and never give up. Every day is a new day full of opportunity.

Rob, thank you for playing.

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About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.

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  • jack spicer

    March 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Bligh; got it for christmas,not much of a reader and I have never been on a sail boat,loved it! great read cover to cover fantastic
    He would have made a good captain in the 98 hobart,just finished Fatat Storm again fantastic

  • Neil Noble

    April 27, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    What a fantastic book. i’m ready to start reading it again. What a sailor, navigator, & role model.
    Having sailed in alot of the same places made it particularly interesting.
    ”A Copy of the Draft from which the Bounty’s Launch was built” – it’s the plans of the launch, has been hanging on the walls of my parent’s house for the last 50 years.
    My father Clarrie Noble [past QCYC commodore] got it [i believe] from a John Dyason who had a yacht called ”Investigator” in the 1960’s. He built a pretty carvel sloop about 23ft long & was a great history buff.
    I do not know if there are other copies of this plan. If not it may be of interest to you.
    Regards, Neil Noble

  • September 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Great interview, great site. I am now a follower. Cheers, Joan-in-Wellington-NZ

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