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Richard Smythe grew up in New Zealand, came to Australia on a surfing trip in 1969 and found Noosa Heads in Queensland. Five years later he came back with wife Maria, who also fell in love with the place, and they have lived in the beautiful beach town ever since. After raising three children there they now spend a lot of time with three grand-kids. Richard designs buildings by day, writes when he can, and is finally getting serious about finishing, polishing and publicising the three interesting novels he has conceived over the past thirty-four years: (THE JODAN JU – finished and available;  WINDS of SEDITION – written a long time ago, now revamped as a sequel to the Jodan Ju and available on Amazon; THE LILITH FACTOR – well on the way). See below and the pages to each above.

His plots to date have been derived from certain historical events or persons that have provided the germ of an idea which has been developed and interwoven with imagination to provide the intrigue, suspense and action that course through the novels.


First drafted in 1999, it was rejected by three major publishers (seemingly by return mail), put in a drawer for a few years, then resurrected in 2012 when work was slow (building is a fickle thing). Rewritten to a degree and edited, THE JODAN JU is now available via several outlets as an eBook, kindle and as a paperback and is receiving positive reviews. (See the REVIEWS page).

The initial inspiration for the tale of THE JODAN JU came from three separate news sources from several years ago:

  • An article and photo of an American airman about to be beheaded by a Japanese officer during WW2.
  • News coverage of the infamous 731 Unit of the Japanese military conducting experiments on Chinese prisoners & civilians in Manchuria during the 1930’s & ’40’s.
  • Japanese soldiers being discovered in the Philippines & elsewhere several decades after 1945 who had not known the war was over and had kept soldiering on for the Emperor and country.

THE JODAN JU evolved from these facts combined with hypotheticals – what if that young sword-wielding officer was a seriously evil individual who was never caught for his war crimes and became a powerful warlord in Burma…..introduce the modern day heroin trade and nuclear blackmail… an indirect connection with the current United States President. Infuse these elements with the Samurai chivalry of pre-war Japan and sordidness of the 1990’s Japanese mafia – the Yakuza.
This is the essence of THE JODAN JU.



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