This week I got to meet—in real life!—two friends made through blogging and novel research: Dr. Aleisha Ward and Jonathan Burgess, both who have been incredible sources of information about U.S. and New Zealand bands during World War Two (remember, Evelyn’s U.S. boyfriend is a trumpeter in the 43rd Division). You’ll get to meet Jonathan another time (that’s an invite to write a guest post, Jonathan). But today I have the pleasure of introducing you to lovewordsmusic’s first-ever guest blogger, Aleisha Ward, who tells us about her fascinating research journey against a background of the 2010/2011 Christchurch earthquakes.
I am delighted to announce that yours truly is the new columnist for North & South magazine! For my overseas readers, North & South is ‘New Zealand’s best-read monthly current affairs and lifestyle magazine’ (Bauer Media website) and they’ve won more than 200 journalism awards to prove it. In addition to being a fantastic read, there are three inspiring women (and great writers) at the helm—Virginia Larson, Joanna Wane and Donna Chisholm.
My column is called ‘The Heart of the Matter’ and each month I interview a high-profile New Zealander, opening with a short bio and explanation of why this person at this time. The series’ point of difference is that I reveal the private person behind the public gaze, through a set of humanising questions that remain the same or similar each issue.
Throughout the journey of researching and writing my novel, I have been fascinated, countless times, by the life lessons I uncover—or that uncover themselves to me—in the unlikeliest of places. My latest is the bizarre and fabulous advice of New Zealand’s 1940s design and style guru, architect D. E. Barry Martin (I discovered him while trying to figure out what the inside of Evelyn’s home would have looked like). Hiding within the pages of his quaint tome Modern Decoration and Furnishing: Complete Guide to Planning and Buying for All Interiors (1947, Reed NZ) are the answers to creating a peaceful New Age.