Thursday, May 14, 2015

All One in Australia?


It’s my pleasure to introduce my new novel, Next of Kin, which has just been published by the recently formed Rhiza Press.

It’s always exciting to get to the end of project and see something that was once just an idea, a dream or goal, completed. A finished novel, printed and published, is an especially satisfying project because it has a life of its own; the potential to challenge, inspire, educate and entertain others for a very long time.  I feel very privileged and grateful to be able to participate in such a project. It’s been my pleasure to do so now with nine novels and I hope I can go on writing for many years.

Next of Kin has taken me on a journey through the lives of some of my ancestors, as have all my  novels, so I owe a debt of gratitude to those earlier Australians who survived the challenges of making a new life in a land on the other side of their world, and raised their children to continue the quest to make Australia what it is today. Through each life I have learned so much as I’ve explored the environment in which they lived, the political scene at the time, the cultural developments, the historical events. It’s been a great educational journey for me, as well as an affirmation that human beings can and do survive the most dreadful of circumstances and are capable of overcoming amazing challenges.  

While I know very little about the spiritual lives of my ancestors, their stories have given me a window through which to reflect on the ways that God can be involved in the human journey. It’s not hard to see the need for a God who directs, comforts, enables, rescues and leads, when you consider the challenges faced by people of any generation and culture. I can only hope that at least some of my ancestors really experienced the faith, hope and love which I have invested in their stories.

With my earlier novels I had the opportunity to learn much about the first white Australians, particularly convicts who arrived here in the late 1700s, and the first-born Australians who were their children, often known as ‘currency’ kids. With Next of Kin, I was led into a whole new area of learning, as I explored the coming of migrants to Australia in the mid to late 1800s, specifically those who came from Germany to work in the towns of the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales, and were often called 'continentals'. The experience of families attempting to assimilate into a culture with a different language, different traditions and backgrounds, is an ongoing challenge for all of us in Australia. It is a battle for many already here and definitely for those arriving. It was fascinating for me to delve into how this might have been experienced over 150 years ago.

I suppose when all is said and done, it is true that nothing is new under the sun, that human beings have difficulty accepting and cherishing what is different or unfamiliar, that we are more prone to prejudice and discrimination that we’d like to think, and that we are all on a journey of becoming more human in the best sense of the word; more Christ-like and open to growing through all the challenges we face in relating to others.  

I hope Next of Kin takes some readers on this journey, that it inspires or challenges people to be more tolerant, accepting and loving, regardless of creed, colour, socio-economic status or sex. I’d like to believe that as Christians we can honestly say with Paul that … “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galations 3:28).  In the case of Next of Kin it might have been said, “There is neither English nor German, black nor white, male nor female, rich nor poor, for you are all equal in Australia.” 


Carol writes historical novels based on her family ancestry in Australia and include the Turning the Tide series; Mary’s Guardian, Charlotte’s Angel, Tangled Secrets and Truly Free. Her earlier novels Suzannah’s Gold and Rebecca’s Dream have been re-released by EBP. You can see more about Carol and her novels on her website or her FB author page.


www.amazon.com/author/carolpreston

www.facebook.com/writingtoreach

10 comments:

  1. As another historical writer of a different era, I really appreciate the research that you do for your novels, Carol. It really makes them come alive. And following up on your own kin must have been a delight.
    I wonder if our future kin will have much material to research, in that we don't write letters today. Most of it is email... will that be preserved? Maybe we should all write brief histories of ourselves just in case future issue would love to know some of those intimate details.

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    1. I agree Rita. I'm always encouraging people to write down their stories so that future generations will have an appreciation of where they come from even if they don't want to do extensive research or write a novel.

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  2. Congratulations Carol on publishing yet another book and I wish you well with it. It must be very heartening to study and learn about your ancestors - especially how God has led them and brought them through. I do like the theme you've mentioned in your latest book - that all are equal! Right after God's heart isn't it? Well done and may you touch and bless many through it.

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    1. Thanks Anusha. I think it is a really relevant theme at the moment.

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  3. Thank you for this bit of insight into how you get your inspiration and set to work, Carol. I love how you bring these people and their time period to life and look forward to reading Next of Kin.

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    1. Thanks Paula. I do hope you enjoy the story

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  4. I loved Next of Kin, Carol. But then, I love all your books!

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  5. Congratulations on the publication of another novel, Carol. It's really interesting the way you've been able to combine research into your own family with fiction to create these novels. I guess it's always difficult for migrants to come to a new country, but I imagine it would have been particularly challenging back then without all the access to services we have now. The theme of prejudice/acceptance is one that is close to my heart. I hope it does really well for you.

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  6. Congratulations once again, Carol! I look forward to reading 'Next of Kin' as soon as I can, especially since I have German ancestors too. All the best with your journey with this new novel.

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  7. Congratulations Carol. Sounds great.

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