Author Talk 23rd Feb 2018

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My grateful thanks to Maria from the Victoria Point Library, my MC,  Jane and all the staff from the Victoria Point library for taking such lovely photos and promoting my Author Talk.



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Book Launch of ‘The Sides of Heaven’

IMG_3252IMG_324720180223 Hazel Barker A3 poster (A2820473) (1)IMG_3253


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Christian Writers Down Under — hazelmbarker

Meet our Members Today’s interview is with Hazel Barker Question 1: Tell us three things about who you are and where you come from. 1. I was born in Burma of an Iranian Muslim father and an English Catholic mother, and have lived in Australia for 50 years. 2. I’ve always loved reading – especially […]

via Christian Writers Down Under — hazelmbarker

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Christian Writers Down Under

Meet our Members 

Today’s interview is with Hazel Barker

Question 1: Tell us three things about who you are and where you come from.
1. I was born in Burma of an Iranian Muslim father and an English Catholic mother, and have lived in Australia for 50 years.
2. I’ve always loved reading – especially the classics.
3. As a teenager, I dreamed of freedom, travel and love.
Question 2: Tell us about your writing (or editing/illustrating etc). What do you write and why?
. I write memoirs and historical novels, and wanted to be a writer from an early age, after reading Little Women. But my writing journey only commenced in 2013, when my short story, ‘Hunger’ was selected for publication in the Redlitzer Anthology.
. 2016 saw the publication of my memoir, Heaven Tempers the Wind: Story of a War Child, Armour Books, and my debut novel, Chocolate Soldier. The Story of a Conchie, Rhiza Books.
. Part 2 of my memoirs, The Sides of Heaven, Armour Books, was released in February this year. I’m now working on Part 3, Count Your Blessings.
. My historical novel, The Soprano is in the pipeline.
Question 3: Who has read your work? Who would you like to read it?
. My memoirs have mainly attracted female readers, but my novel, Chocolate Soldier. The Story of a Conchie is popular with both sexes. This is probably because of the war theme and romantic scenes, but particularly due to the message of PEACE.
. I’d love all those who wish to give glory to the Lord by witnessing his message and forgiveness, to read my books.
Question 4: Tell us something about your process. What challenges do you face? What helps you the most?
. My greatest challenge is the lack of time. I usually spend my mornings writing, but I can’t hold back the clock, and my age is against me. I ask myself, ‘Will I be able to complete Part 3 of my memoirs and finish my novel? How long will the Lord give me the health and strength to continue writing?
. My husband Colin helps me the most. He encourages me and takes me to writers’ meetings, conferences and workshops. He’s most understanding and considerate. God Bless him!
Question 5: What is your favourite Writing Craft Book and why?
. My favourite writing craft book is K.M. Weiland’s, Structuring Your Novel.
. It was recommended to me by Iola Goulton when she did a sample edit of my work. It helps keep my writing on track. Thanks Iola.
Question 6: If you were to give a shout-out to a CWD author, writer, editor or illustrator – who would they be?
If I were to give a shout for a CWD writer, it would be Paula Vince. I met Paula when I first joined Omega Writers at an Omega Conference in Brisbane, and was struck by her kind and gentle ways. I enjoyed the fellowship, the encouragement and the workshops. I love her books on Divine Healing. Her romantic suspense novels. I enjoyed reading her books, particularly Picking up the Pieces and The Risky Way home.
Question 7: What are your writing goals for 2018? How will you achieve them?
. My writing goals for this year are:
. to polish Count Your Blessings and to revise my historical novel, The Soprano.
Question 8: How does your faith impact and shape your writing?
. My faith and my writing go hand-in-hand. My faith is like a candle that lights up my work. My faith rules my life, and hopefully, my writing will strengthen my readers’ faith, hope and trust in the Lord. My faith and prayers too, may lead the despairing to hope, the sinner not to despair of the Lord’s mercy and the prodigal to return to the Fold.

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Book Launch


The Sides of Heaven - Book Launch

Victoria Point Library, Lakeside Shopping Centre, 7 – 15 Bunker Road, Victoria Point.

See you there.



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The Sides of Heaven

Chapter 1 Post-war Rangoon
Dad lied to us. The Second World War was over, the long wait for freedom at an end. Government employees were summoned to Rangoon, and my father appointed Assistant Registrar and Personal Secretary to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. No accommodation was available as many homes had been bombed during the war, so he was ordered to leave us behind at Mandalay. After suffering the lash of his tongue and feeling his blows, we regarded the separation from him as a glimpse of heaven. Our relief was to be shortlived. In late 1946 Dad wrote to Mum telling her to join him in Rangoon as a home now awaited us. All our happiness vanished. Reluctantly, we took the train to Rangoon, only to find there was no house. Seven of us had to live in a single-roomed warehouse within the grounds of the High Court. He deliberately lied so that we would have to leave Mandalay and be reunited with him. * During the Japanese invasion of Burma in 1941, we had evacuated upcountry to Katha, in North Burma. Japanese troops pushed the British army from Burma into India, and it seemed we had been deserted. Nourished on books during those terrible years of the war, and having three siblings older than me, I acquired a mind mature for my age.
A devout Catholic, Mum had been attracted by my father’s captivating ways and fallen for him—even though he was a Muslim. All his charm disappeared once she signed the marriage certificate. What could she do? If she ran away, society would shun her. So, with the birth of each child, the chains on her tightened until they completely weighed her down. Now she found herself with a broken heart.

Buy a copy of the prequel Heaven Tempers the Wind. Story of a War Child and you’ll enjoy The Sides of Heaven much more even though it is a stand alone.



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CALEB Competition 2017

calebheaven tempers the wind cover

Heaven Tempers the Wind: Story of a War Child,

was shortlisted

in the Caleb Competition of 2017


The Sides of Heaven
Hazel’s memoir is set during the turbulent period following the Second World War and the subsequent civil war.
From a family’s endurance, a mother’s faith and a young girl’s traumatic journey through her teenage years, ultimately springs a story of redemption and hope. Hazel yearns for freedom, yet chooses to enter a convent; she yearns for her family, yet spreads her wings for Australia
The Sides of Heaven is the sequel to Heaven Tempers the Wind: Story of a War Child, which was shortlisted in the Australia and New Zealand-wide CALEB Competition of 2017.



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