Julian Roup



Seeking peace in Idaho after a brutal war, ex SEAL, Commander Ross McCallister, is asked by his former Special Ops Agency to do one last job, to derail a Democrat politician who is running for the Governorship of Idaho on an anti-nuclear waste ticket.

McCallister ends up switching sides and taking up the fight against the nuclear waste himself. Sometimes it’s dangerous to do the right thing. This is a story of betrayal, heroism and redemption - an environmental adventure and a love story.

‘A Country I Call My Own’ features an American officer who has served with distinction in the Middle East and then worked for various agencies in the region. Suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), he leaves the military and settles in the mountain country of the Idaho Panhandle, just below the Canadian border to live off-grid in search of Eden and a nature cure. He builds a horse packing and hunting operation to sustain himself, but finds the ongoing interactions with members of the public troubling to his peace of mind.

He wins the love of two very unconventional women who share his love of horses and who are both prepared to join his fight to rid the state of toxic nuclear waste and the poisoning of the land and water table. The seemingly pristine Panhandle turns out to be an environmental disaster area and McCallister fights for his sanity, his community and his ranch.

The book revisits the literary landscapes of writers Jack London and Barry Lopez, exploring the desire of many people to opt out of our society to live a more secluded, off-grid life in nature. And it considers the power of nature and horses to cure mental illness. It explores the dynamics of loving relationships when there are no barriers or rules. And it unpacks what it means to be a good man.

This 72,000 word novel is by Julian Roup, author of five previous books published in the US, UK and South Africa by Jacana Publishing and Blkdog Publishing. The themes of his books are about landscape, the environment, people, horses and politics, about a search for identity and a place to call home.

The book is available on Amazon Books and leading bookstores in paperback and Kindle formats.

How this book came to be written:

In 1992 Roup found himself increasingly unhappy with his work life balance, commuting four hours a day from his home on Ashdown Forest in East Sussex to and from London, working in Public Relations.

His younger brother Herman had moved his family and his swimwear business from LA to the Idaho Panhandle and suggested that his brother and his young family join him. They visited and fell in love with the beauty of the place, just south of the Canadian border. Property was cheap in comparison to the UK and so an idea began to form to make the move to be close to his brother and his family. They had gone their separate ways when leaving South Africa, the land of their birth more than a decade previously.

Sadly, the Idaho dream did not work out. The brutal winter of 92-93 with minus 20-degree temperatures and 20 foot of snow made life difficult with two children under the age of three and they struggled through that bitter winter and come the spring with no money coming in admitted defeat and returned to life in Sussex.

Thirty years later thinking about that time made Roup wonder how someone else seeking sanctuary in those mountains might have fared. And so, this novel came into being.


REVIEWS OF ‘Boerejood’

“Brilliant, just terrific, really very, very good. Engaged, intelligent, personal, fast moving and funny.”                                  Graham Watts, Financial Times, London

“A delicate exploration of South African society 10 years after the end of Apartheid and the onset of majority rule. Roup has no nostalgia for the old regime, but immense sadness for the embattlement of the Afrikaans language and culture.”    John Lloyd, Editor, FT Weekend Magazine


Julian Roup at home in Sussex with his books

REVIEWS OF ‘Life in a Time of Plague’

"This is a wonderful account of the time of coronavirus; I especially like the reverie at the end with its sense of time regained in that Proustian way. Julian Roup has a great gift for evocation and description.

Bernard O’Donoghue, Whitbread Prize winning Irish poet, Oxford don, author of Seamus Heaney and the Language of Poetry.

“Witty, incisive, irreverent, iconoclastic.” 

George Plumptre, CEO National Garden Scheme, author of The English Country House Garden and Royal Gardens of Europe.

Julian Roup tells the story of his corner of rural Britain under the first 75 days of lockdown. His beautiful writing captures the way the world slowed down amid the strangeness of the new reality. The book is a snapshot of the details that make up the fabric of history – thinking back on memories of friends passed, observations on humanity and the natural world in his East Sussex valley, and of course his lovely horse Callum. Riders will appreciate how horses ­– in both reality and in our imagination – serve as an escape.”   Horse & Hound

REVIEWS OF ‘A Fisherman in the Saddle’

“This is story telling charged with raw emotion and always a deep appreciation for the sheer beauty and the enduring magic of nature which transcends politics, implosion of families, emigration. Horses, the author says, became ‘my nation, my friends, my identity, my medicine. When I am in the saddle I’m home.’” Robyn Cohen, The Cape Times

“Every now and then a gem of a new book lands on my desk: sometimes but rarely a diamond. This is one. I laughed. I cried. I was deeply moved. This is among the best books I have ever read about fishing, horses, growing up, the pain of maturity, leaving one’s homeland and the things that make up the richness of life.”  David Bristow, Getaway Magazine

“The ability of horses to help and heal is boundless. In A Fisherman in the Saddle, Julian Roup explains how he feels about horses. ‘The feeling of elation, of freedom, of excitement was indescribable. It was like being given wings and the gift of flight. I was hooked for life.' I know the feeling, and I hope many others discover it for themselves.” Octavia Pollock, Country Life 

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE contact Bendigo Communications on 0044 (0)7970 563958 or email info@bendigopr.co.uk


Julian Roup
Bendigo Communications
Warren Road, Crowborough, East Sussex, TN6 1TX
United Kingdom

For all inquiries, please contact us at: info@bendigopr.co.uk

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