The war in Vietnam was a new and different type of warfare. For the Australians and New Zealanders, instead of attacking and defending 'fronts', they faced the almost invisible Vietcong. The Vietcong used their local knowledge and the jungle for camouflage as well as booby traps – guerilla warfare. America and its allies, the Australians and New Zealanders, had to develop new fighting and survival techniques, and not just against the communists. They also had to survive the scrutiny of the media and the criticism of their own countries.
In 2006 Leon Davidson's first book, Scarecrow Army: The Anzacs at Gallipoli, won the Children's Book Council of Australia Eve Pownall Award and the New Zealand Post Award for non-fiction, and it was shortlisted for the Elsie Locke Award. Red Haze: Australians & New Zealanders in Vietnam is Leon's second book, published the same year to rave reviews.
Born and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand, Leon spent ten years overseas, mostly in Melbourne, working as a dishwasher, chicken slaughterer, furniture maker and waste management consultant. He now lives in Wellington, New Zealand, where he is studying to be a primary school teacher and continuing to write.
Leon's school reports said that he was a daydreamer and that he could do better if he tried harder. He writes his first drafts with pen and paper, then works on the computer, then uses pen and paper, and finishes with the computer again. His pet is an Australian cat called Kitty.
Source: Black Dog Books (used with permission)