Exploring History Through Fiction

Interview with North Tec Tertiary Education Institution

Recent NorthTec graduate David Farrell will celebrate the long-awaited publishing of his historical fiction novel ‘The Chameleon’ on the 24th of June 2022, coinciding with Matariki Day.

The book focuses on the fictional coming of age of Rhodesian born, Rorke Wilde in 1970’s South Africa. However, the trials, tribulations, and turmoil experienced by the character mirror real experiences of people throughout history. 

“It is a fictional biography that challenges the norms of history; of apartheid, colonialism, heartbreak, love, and compassion.” David Farrell, author and recent Northtec graduate, advises. “Many, if not all of us, have experienced the good and bad in the worldwide diaspora because of politics, greed, and opportunity.”

David started the novel as a manuscript for his studies at NorthTec, the New Zealand Certificate in Advanced Applied Writing. He already had the ideas for his book prior to enrolling and realised he needed to improve his skills to bring the ideas to fruition.

“I realised I couldn’t take my fictional work any further without some meaningful help,” says David. “After talking to Zana Bell [a Northtec tutor], my mind was made up. I had found a Level Seven course in Creative Writing run by successful writers and professional tutors. To top it all, it was right here in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

‘The Chameleon’ focuses on a topic close to David’s heart. Born in Africa, the author lived under the discriminatory regimes described in his novel. This includes the shift from minority apartheid and colonial oppression to a majority rule dictatorship.

“The story portrays a time in history most believe they know about and understand. It does not take sides, nor apportions blame, but shares the experience of individuals caught up in the events,” says David. “We hear and see so much disinformation today on social media and the likes. It is the same way with people who write books, all have bias or an agenda. My hope for The Chameleon is that the reader will see something they can use.”

David is driven firstly by his impulse to write, something he has been doing since a teen. Many authors use writing as a way of understanding or analysing people, events or society and David is no different.

“I think my main goal was to readdress imbalances. I find the process of writing cathartic.”

“The story starts in Zimbabwe but then moves onto South Africa, Ireland, England, and New Zealand. All are societies touched by colonialism. Highlighting that intolerance and immigration are still evident on so many socio-economic levels,” explains David. “There is a vast diaspora of immigrants around the world in search of opportunity. I have lived on three continents and could be a citizen of four countries; but I am proudest of my Kiwi status. Aotearoa, New Zealand is my home.”

David has a long history of work as a writer and author, having published poetry in several anthologies, written short stories for Drum and Sun Magazine in South Africa, and work as a columnist in both New Zealand and Australia.

His further learning at NorthTec helped bring his newest project to fulfilment. “The diploma broadened my horizons. It gave me a wider perspective by exposing me to different genres and writers, all of whom have the same goal. A clarity between fiction, non-fiction, and business writing.”

David is not taking the time to sit back and enjoy his hard work; he has plenty more projects on the cards to keep him busy.

“I have four manuscripts on the go. Two are historical fiction novels and relate to The Chameleon, one is a non-fiction book on leadership, and the last is an inspirational fiction on autism.”

David’s book ‘The Chameleon’ will be available in paperback and eBook initially on Amazon worldwide then further outlets after that.

Amazon Australia/NZ  http://mybook.to/TheChameleon
Amazon  https://amazon.com/author/davidmfarrell

https://www.northtec.ac.nz/news/2022/exploring-history-through-fiction

Cover Sneak Peek

We have an exciting book releasing later this year that will warm your heart and challenge your soul. Author 𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗙𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗹’𝘀 book cover, soon to be revealed. Don’t miss this epic Historical Fiction novel!”

Announcement

We are thrilled to announce the signing of Historical Fiction Author 𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗙𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗹

Welcome to the 𝗞𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀𝗹𝗲𝘆 𝗣𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗶𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗧𝗲𝗮𝗺.

We look forward to sharing more information on his latest book soon!!

I’m so excited to sign up with Kingsley Publishers.

ncement

Authors of Aotearoa

Snuck into a bookstore today amidst the melee of Christmas shoppers.

Straight to the Kiwi section of authors, some whom I follow, others I don’t.

I want to change that.

Besides the array of covers, genres and subjects, I was hit by a sense a commonality, of pain, frustration, long hours, joy and contentment.

My heart filled with pride, my eyes with tears.

To each my respect and the hope, we all find what it is we seek.

Our solidarity as important today as it has been in the past.

Thank you all for sharing your work and thoughts with me 2021.

Covid Christmas

Though the family is apart

All I do is visit my heart

There I know I can find

You all, in my mind

Xmas is no exception

As I sense your anticipation

Pride and tears swell

Praying that all is well

A time to be glad

My love, Your Dad

Rorke Wilde

My name is Rorke Wilde.
Most call me Rory.
This is my memoir.
Of a time as I saw it.

I have found my home.
I live without trepidation.
I lie my head in calmness.
I am eternally indebted to this gracious nation.
May my family never undervalue that which New Zealand enriches us with.
Thank you, Land of the Long White Cloud, people of the oceans, my Aotearoa.
E hoa ma, ina te ora o te tangata. (My friends, this is the essence of life).

Rest in Peace, Themba (man of hope) Dube (Zebra — healer and mixer of colour).
My friend.
My mentor.
My guardian spirit.
You lived up to your name.
Everything I think, say, or do is because of our friendship.
May your last days on earth have been all you wished.
I know you roam the valleys and hills of Phelamanga (Heaven).

Our Afrika, we so cherished.
I miss you every day and you continue to show up in my moments of fragility and joy.
I imprint your legacy on Inyanga (the full moon), so we will travel together forever.
In solitude, I still talk with you, and for that, I am always grateful.
Size sibonane njalo (until we meet again).
Kumele ngihambe khathesi. (I must go now).
Stay well. My father. My world.
Asimbonanga (I have not seen him).

C

Open Letter To Jacinda Adern

Aotearoa New Zealand Prime Minister

2020 was the first time I voted for Labour, and I see no reason to change my vote for the next one.
I am not a political beast nor am I interested in politicians or their parties and believe that’s how it should be for folk.

I have had the privilege of voting in four different countries on three continents.

In the early 1980s, it was the ex-colonial Ian Smith versus what was to become the tyrant of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe.
There was hope for all who had endured a bitter civil war and crippling international sanctions.

1987 I experienced the upheavals of Britain between the powerful unions led by Neil Kinnock, which brought Margaret Thatcher’s landslide victory of a third term in office.
I was part of a majority and remember being in awe of Freddie Mercury, manipulating a crowd of 72 000 with ease at Wembley. The mass hysteria startled the rural boy within.

I returned to Africa for another chance, this time in South Africa’s general election between Nelson Mandela and F W de Klerk.
1995 I found myself in Ellis Park stadium at the final of the Rugby World Cup where the Springboks played the All Blacks. I shall never forget a throng of 65 000 of every creed and race chanting ‘Madiba’ when Mandela strolled onto the field wearing the number 6 jersey.

I am not a loyal voter, but am swayed by leaders who show emotional intelligence, integrity and are in touch with reality.
Life is about perspective.

Listen not to the whine of opposition motivated by pale Boomers or the bleat of isolated narcissists of side-line politics.
Take no notice of the gutter press who tarnish the sacrosanctity of journalism and reject the aspersions of social media in its quest for power.
Covid is not the only pandemic to wreak havoc on our planet. Yet I don’t recall the same rhetoric and division I hear today. Future generations will look back in dismay and disbelief. The shame is ours.

Know that the team of five million are with you in your efforts to protect our land whilst embracing diversity.
I am a humble man of little sway.
All I can do is offer you, my support.
My heartfelt thanks for what you have achieved and what you are going through for us all.


Kia ora.


Hamba kahle.

Write what matters to you

The more social media I encounter, the less this vocation appeals.

If a writing career depends upon participation, then important calls need to be made.

Narcissism abounds.

Labels continue to bind.

For the autistic writer & marginalized voices, the atmosphere is one of poor emotional intelligence.

Filled with vague expectation and hoop jumping.

All in the deception of consumer demand.

Neurodiversity is at odds with the prefabricated society.

Pigeon holed by landlords of old.

In the archaic mantra, “Read what is in print to be successful.”

It is time for meaningful change in pursuit of the new.

Not the passing on, of the tainted mantle.

No Limits

July sees my daughter conquer yet more obstacles in her short 18 years.

This month she starts at college studying to be a veterinary nurse and has been awarded the final stage in her Brown Belt in kung fu – one step away from Black Belt.

Ten years ago she underwent brain surgery for seizures which left her unable to read or write at 8 years old.

Three days after the operation, she was at home, free from convulsions. It was then when she expressed an interest in an iPad.

Six months after receiving one, she was literate and attended all her local schools.

Her courage and determination to overcome astound me, as does her compassion to animals and sensitivity to others.

I’m humbled by her can-do attitude whilst ashamed of my own shortcomings.

Her ability to withstand fear and anxiety in an intolerant world further highlights my failures to do so.

Her presence lifts the hearts of those who know her.

There is no father more proud than I.

It makes me the wealthiest man in the universe.

Follow your dreams, sweetheart.

You can be whomever and whatever you choose.

I am not normal

Why is there an assumption of normality?

Who defines normal and what influences it to change?

In our zeal for conformity, do we create an ordinariness so we can judge others?

Do we hide emotion and perceived eccentricity in fear of being singled out and excluded?

Am I normal if I am a writer?

I have acquaintances, the only friends are family and Buddy, my Cocker Spaniel muse.

I wake up early every day for me-time to write — it is my consummate joy.

I come across as cold and uncaring but can read the subtlest of body language, nuance & expression.

I prefer to watch people going about their business than the movies or television.

I am uncomfortable in most social environments.

I never know when it is my turn to talk on the telephone.

I am quirky because I follow my instincts.

I influence and sway to achieve mutual goals.

I have no tolerance for bureaucracy or stupidity.

Am I normal enough not to be labelled?

Will I fit into life’s perceptions and find a suitable box in which to conform?

We are all exceptions to a preconceived norm we spend our lives striving for, but which exists only in the ignorant’s perception.

I am an author.

I don’t want to be normal.

I will share my uniqueness — join me.