I created Augie to be a mirror to his brother. He’s someone that nobody expects to be competent, and he often isn’t, but he might have been had he ever been given the chance to grow up that way. One of Augie’s great failures– not correctly translating the aboriginies’ language results in one of the major plot points. On the other hand, in battle, both against armed cultists in the jungle and thousands of lizard men in Birmisia, he proves quite heroic. Augie was fun to write, in that his natural state is easy-going and pleasant, making him quite the counter to his two siblings who are serious and wrapped up in their own torments.
Augie owes a lot to Michael Caine’s character in Zulu, something I pointed to when I went back and wrote book 0, and had him accompanied by a Colour Sergeant Bourne.