New Novel From Story Prize Winner

I’ve written a few thin books! Alyth Darwin

The versatile Alyth

By Roger Childs

friends-of-the-libraryAlyth took first prize in the recent Friends of the Library short story competition with My Gumboot Journey. (Scroll down to November 17 to read the story.)

She’s had short stories published before, as well as articles and poems, and a novel.

Alyth is also a watercolour artist.

At the recent Friends of the Kapiti Libraries AGM, Alyth spoke about her second recently published novel: A Broken Chord.

The importance of life experience

It is always interesting to hear authors speak about their background and how that has influenced their writing.

Alyth was brought up on a farm in South Canterbury and had a wonderful childhood. She went to boarding school in Christchurch and it was here that her love of English and writing flourished.

Her life changed dramatically when her father died when she was 17 and the family moved to Oamaru.

Her adult life experience has involved nursing, marriage, family, getting a Licentiate of Theology and career in pastoral care. Through all this she developed a love of people and a love of nature.

A latter day literary career

a-broken-chord-1jpgAfter having articles published in the Dominion Post Alyth decided to enhance her skills by doing creative writing courses in Mana, and later at the Waikanae Library.

Like many older people, she has written her “Life History” for her children and grandchildren.

This was followed by her first novel, Resolution, penned just before the Christchurch earthquake.

Her second novel has been inspired by travel.

“A Broken Chord”

Venturing around the Baltic and through Southern Norway gave Alyth ideas for a second book. She loved the mountains which reminded her of the South Island, and the Scandinavian environment would provide part of the setting for A Broken Chord.

A draft was submitted to a critic who felt that there were

  • not enough minor characters
  • insufficient descriptions of the scenery.

So it was rewrite time!

The final version of A Broken Chord  has three main settings: Norway, Nelson and Dunedin.

It is hot off the press and we will have details in a later article on how readers can get copies.