I originally wrote this piece for an Auckland University post-graduate research speech competition—the first creative writing masters student ever to enter. Many of my competitors were scientists, medical students and engineers and I wanted to demonstrate that research has a serious place in creative writing—along with imagination and serendipity.
The resulting article was published in NZ Author, the magazine the NZ Society of Authors distributes to its members—a brilliant read for those interested in the New Zealand and international writing scenes. Some libraries have subscriptions or you can subscribe to the magazine here.
One of the only two photos I have ever seen of the U.S. Camp at Victoria Park (approx. 1944). From the Ministry of Works WWII report, held at Auckland Museum.
One of the settings in my book is Victoria Park (Auckland, New Zealand) during World War II. Now a peaceful green-space for Aucklanders to enjoy, back in 1942 it was developed for the U.S. Marines who had arrived to protect us from a possible Japanese invasion (and for R & R after the terror of Pacific battles e.g. Guadalcanal). Towards the end of the U.S. presence in New Zealand (most U.S troops had departed by mid-1944), the camp was taken over by the U.S. Army. Continue reading