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Of time and ages past, but what of the future?

I’m a lover of antiques, old photos and memorabilia and, as such, they are often included in my storylines. When I’m engrossed in the business of writing, I often forget to get up from my chair. When I do, the joints moan and groan for a while until I get moving again. There is a circuit from my desk through the kitchen, around to the entrance way and back again. It’s a route I take several times a day in an effort to pretend I’m ‘exercising’. On my journey today, I paused to look at several large, hand-painted images of ancestors on the wall. Two are well over a hundred years old.

When I was writing The Disenchanted Soldier, the photos on the wall were a catalyst to the stories being told. I wonder if, when they were taken, anyone considered they would be treasured and handed down generation after generation.

Similarly, in Portrait of a Man, the images of loved ones were in long lost paintings that intrigued and inspired. When finally identified they became valuable additions to the family’s history, but their journey was long and torturous. For a time, it appeared their history would be lost for ever and they would become unidentified people on a worthless canvas.

Photos again play an important part In my latest release, Lucy, Book 3 in The Art of Secrets series. One is found tucked in the back of the frame of a more modern photo, another is discovered in a prized locket, while a third was taken to celebrate the birth of another generation. At the time, no one knew that two generations would pass away before the youngest had grown, and the photo would be the only remaining connection. Those photos led to generations of women who had made their mark in the world and were part of a legacy.  

There’s an antique desk in Elinor (Book 2 in The Art of Secrets series) that is saved and sits in pride of place in Jess’s new home, and a shiny black and white photo used as a promotional tool that started Emma on her journey into the past in Book 1 of The Art of Secrets. Even though they are stand-alone stories, getting to the know the characters better by reading the series in order will enhance the experience.

I’m fascinated by these links to the past, but what happens after I am gone? Will my love for all things past emerge in the younger generations as they too, age? I certainly hope so, but that is why I am eternally grateful for the wisdom and benevolence of earlier generations. Through them, we have libraries and museums which store, treasure, and promote our history through the ages. Our future is safe as long as we support the funding of these institutions.

Lucy, the story of a suffragist and the courageous women who fought for their right to vote, is available now – on pre-order until released on Mothers Day 14 May 2023.

During the course of her research into Lucy’s story, Emma visits He Tohu at the National Library which houses New Zealand’s greatest treasures: The 1835 Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand; the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi and the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition.

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