Tag Archives: Armour Books

Interview by Michelle/Share Your Story

Meet Hazel Barker

cid_51fe7125-5349-43b4-a204-6928db78fd26

Hazel Barker lives in Brisbane with her husband Colin. She taught in Perth, Canberra and Brisbane for over a quarter of a century and now devotes her time to reading, writing and bushwalking. From her early years in Burma, her passion for books drew her to authors like Walter Scott and Charles Dickens. Her love for historical novels sprang from Scott, and the love of literary novels, from Dickens. Her short stories have won awards and been published in magazines and anthologies.
Hazel’s debut novel Chocolate Soldier was released by Rhiza Press in October, 2016. Book One of her memoirs Heaven Tempers the Wind was published by Armour Books in August, 2016. Both books are set during World War Two – the former in England and the Far East; the latter in Burma.
Part 2 of her memoirs, The Sides of Heaven, was released in February, 2018.

What has your background been before you starting writing?
I taught English and History at high schools in Perth, Canberra and Brisbane.

How were you introduced to writing?
I literally started writing at three when my mother held my hands to form the first words of the alphabet. Mum used to read to me even before I went to school and I grew to love books. I wanted to be an author ever since I read ‘Little Women’ at the age of eight. My love of books led to my love of writing.

IMG_3207 Gecko
I’ve always been a bashful child. Becoming an author has made me love talking. I love to speak to others who have the same taste for books and I’m no longer embarrassed when giving talks about my books.

How is your writing making a difference for you right now?
Right now, writing occupies a large part of my time. However, I try to divide my time between my other loves – my husband Colin and my hobbies.

As a child, what was your relationship with books?
As a child of two, Mum gave me picture books. I remember them being made of cloth so I couldn’t tear them accidently as I turned the pages and they were washable too. Later, I moved from picture books with large letters to fairy tales, then on to adventure stories, the classics and romance.

What is the most important thing about what you want to do?
I want to enjoy a healthy life with my husband and get the rest of my manuscripts published.

Do you believe books can change the world?
I have no doubt that books can change the world. This is the reason why thousands of books were burned by the Communists in Russia and China. Books by Jewish authors and anti-Nazi books were also burned by the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s. The latest burnings to date have been those by ISIS in Iraq, Syria and Libya. Fear of their influence on people led to such destruction.

What do you hope people will take away from your writing?
I hope that my readers will realise the value of faith, hope and prayer and that they will learn from my mistakes.

What is your ultimate goal?
My ultimate goal is to please the Lord and live a blissful life with my dear husband.

hazel-barkers-book-launch-1

Has Share Your Story helped you in any way?
I have only joined Share Your Story for a few months, and I’m already reaping the benefits of joining by being able to share my stories with others.

What results have you experienced, good or bad, about being a part of the publishing industry?
I’ll start with the bad. I was too impatient to get my books published and sent my manuscripts to publishers too early, with the result that I had so many reject ions at first. The good is that since 2013, when my short story was included in the Redlitzer Anthology and I received a trophy from the mayor, my writing career went ahead by leaps and bounds. After that, many other short stories have been selected for publication in anthologies. In 2016 Part One of my memoir, Heaven Tempers the Wind. Story of a War Child was published by Armour Books, and my debut novel, Chocolate Soldier. The Story of a Conchie was taken up by Rhiza Press. In 2018, Part 2 of my memoir, The Sides of Heaven was published by Armour Books.

sides of heaven_front

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Peace. Peace in the world through the love of God.

Contact Hazel
https://hazelmbarker.wordpress.com

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Australian author, Australian literature, author, Author Interviews, Hazel Barker, Hazel Barker author, Uncategorized

“The Sides of Heaven” by Hazel Barker reviewed by Beverley Asmus

INSIGHTFUL JOURNEY OF SELF DISCOVERY

Beautifully written in her trademark, intimate style, Hazel Barker takes the reader inside the cloistered world of those who have dedicated their lives to God. However, as interesting as this background may be for some readers, for me it was her personal struggles towards self-discovery that enthralled me the most.
The prequel to this part of Barker’s memoir, “Heaven Tempers the Wind”, shed light on what it was to be a child of war during the occupation of Burma. While everything familiar was breaking down around her once sheltered life, Barker drew strength on her unwavering faith in God for her survival, always believing in a better future to come.
Unfortunately, that better life did not arrive with the end of war. Family battles, specifically with a brutal father, had to be fought and more sibling lives lost. Although she is able to complete her education, finding friendship and possible romance, Barker feels called to offer her services to the Church. In many ways this is where her biggest life challenges begin, as important issues are raised about spirituality versus religiosity.
Barker’s honesty makes this compelling reading and leaves us wanting to read more about her incredible life journey

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.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Auhor, Books, Hazel Barker, Hazel Barker author, Uncategorized

Book Launch of ‘The Sides of Heaven’

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

3 Comments

Filed under Australian author, Australian literature, author, Books, Hazel Barker, Hazel Barker author, Uncategorized

The Sides of Heaven by Hazel Barker

sides of heaven_front

The sequel of Heaven Tempers the Wind. Story of a War Child will be out shortly.

Set in a turbulent period of history, the story continues to unfold the struggles and sufferings of mother and children until death steals another three more of them.

Join the family in their journey to faith and freedom from the land of pagodas to the world of koalas and kangaroos.

To be released within the next few weeks by Armour Books.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Finalist for Omega Competition, 2017

 

My memoir, Heaven Tempers the Wind, Armour Books, 2016, was one of the three books that made it to the Non-Fiction Book Section of the Finalist List.

 

 

The title, Heaven Tempers the Wind. Story of a War Child is taken from Psalm 6, Verse 2.

 

It is quoted in literature by the protagonist, Hereward, in Charles Kingsley’s book, Hereward the Wake when he says, ‘They say heaven tempers the wind to the shorn lamb, but it tempers it, too, sometimes, to the hobbled ass.’

 

I am the ‘hobbled ass’ in my book because when Japanese bombs fell on Rangoon and we were evacuating, I thought that we were having an extra holiday as all schools had closed.

 

The book tells the story of my family when we were caught up in the traumas of World War Two, during the Japanese occupation of Burma. The story gives vivid accounts of the war, which renders us homeless, sick and starving.

 

Heaven Tempers the Wind concludes with the end of the war.

 

I commenced writing this book when I took early retirement from teaching at the turn of the century because, at the end of hostilities in 1945, few of us spoke of the past as the memories were too painful.  I think that all of us need to realise that war has long-lasting consequences, especially on children. I also felt it necessary to get it out of my system and use my memories to benefit others by exposing some of the horrors of war.

 

My short story Hunger an excerpt from my memoir, was shortlisted in the Redlitzer competition and selected for publication in the 2013 Redlitzer anthology.

 

The following year June’s Death, another excerpt from my memoir, was published in the nation-wide Grieve anthology.

 

My short story Love at First Sight an excerpt from book two of my memoirs, The Sides of Heaven, has been shortlisted in the Lane Cove Literary Award Competition.

 

Here is what my manuscript appraiser Laurie Hergenham Emeretis Professor from QUP said:

 

This is an interesting and symmetrical story line: the Burma setting and its forgotten war will intrigue many readers, as will the personal battles of the family against the back drop of war. There is also tension from main episode to episode which lures the reader on.

***

 

My memoir, Heaven Tempers the Wind. Story of a War Child, made the final short list of the Great Aussie Book Competition of 2014.

***

Results of the 2017 Caleb Competition:

2017 CALEB ~ Published Non-Fiction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

heaven tempers the wind cover

Finalists:

Heaven Tempers the Wind – Hazel Barker

Becoming Me – Jo-Anne Berthelsen

Burn My Letters: Tyranny to Refuge – Ruth Bonetti

Congratulations to the winner, Ruth Bonetti!

Delighted to see my name alongside my dear friend, Jo-Anne Berthelsen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Sides of Heaven by Hazel Barker

heaven tempers the wind cover

 

Dear Friends,

 

You have already read and enjoyed Part One of my memoir, Heaven Tempers the Wind. Story of a War Child, which was published in 2016. The manuscript had been shortlisted in the Barnardo Great Aussie Book Competition of 2014, and the book was shortlisted in the Australian and New Zealand-wide CALEB Competition of 2017.

 

Now, its sequel, The Sides of Heaven has been accepted by Armour Books and will be in print by late March 2018. The story is set in Burma during a turbulent period of history. It tells of love and hate, burning passions and exquisite joy.

 

Fear holds the protagonist, Hazel, a prisoner. Hope sets her free. She longs for freedom – then dedicates her newly won-freedom to God!

 

More information of the book launch and author talks will be available next year…

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Carindale Library

IMG_3190

My Writing Journey. Talk at Carindale Library 13th October 2017

IMG_3192IMG_3198IMG_3199

My thanks to the Carindale Library for giving me the opportunity to speak to this lovely audience about my writing journey. Hope everyone enjoyed the presentation and learned from my mistakes.

My books: Where’s Home Mummy? A Migrant’s Story, Zeus Publications, 2004

Heaven Tempers the Wind. Story of a War Child, Armour Books, 2016

Chocolate Soldier. The Story of a Conchie, Rhiza Press, 2016

 

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized