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How Did He Turn out Different from the Rest?



The year is 2007 and Harry’s twenty-three.  He's an overgrown boy who's decided that because his older brother'll be king, he doesn't have to grow up.  The press, the army, and his school chums all have low expectations for him.  Why disappoint them?


Then comes a deployment to Afghanistan which calls for a change of plan.

Harry’s always hated the press so falling for a CNN reporter he meets on the troop plane was not what he had in mind. It doesn’t help that she’s disguised as a man to evade the Pentagon’s ban on women serving in front line positions. He also manages to acquire a gay best friend in a brother officer named Mustafa. But what’s his former nanny doing on the plane to Kabul? There’s also a warlord driving a Mercedes and a colonel who’d much rather be reading Shakespeare. Together they uncover repressed trauma from Harry’s childhood. The heart of the novel is about his learning to confront a love he lost when he was very young.

Some of the setting for it came from Robert Byron's 1930s travel book on AfghanistanThe Road to Oxiana. Rory Stewart's fascinating travels through modern Afghanistan, The Places In Between, also helped me. I used the catalogue of a British Museum exhibition of Afghan treasures as one of my ways into ancient Afghan history and artefacts.