At 77yrs, Thea wrote her first novel. Now in her 80’s she is available to tell you about the trials and tribulations of getting it published. She also has other topics she can talk to your group about. She can share informative and entertaining personal accounts from her life as a displaced person in Europe after the war and the move to New Zealand, Croatian history or anecdotes from the fashion industry in Auckland 1965-83
Go to this link: Out of the Shade by Thea Gilich
These orange flavoured dumplings that feature in Thea’s book , Out of the Shade, are a Croatian favourite and were received well by the the group that gathered at the New Lynn RSA to hear Thea speak.
Thea shared some of her experiences of being a refugee, fleeing Europe with her family after the 2nd World War and her first impressions of New Zealand.
Good food and good company!
Thea addressed a group at the Croatian club rooms in West Auckland recently. Some of the group had supported the Croatian struggle towards independence in the 1990’s by collecting signatures for the petition presented to Parliament.
‘Standing in front of the churches, supermarkets, malls…these women gathered signatures from thousands of New Zealanders as well as our people, ensuring New Zealand was one of the first countries in the world to recognise Croatia as an independent State.”
Thea drew an analogy between these women and the fortitude of the main character, ‘Manda’ in her latest novel, ‘Out of the Shade’, who is also a strong Croatian woman.
A nice way to while away the afternoon. She then donated a percentage of the book sales to the group towards their fundraising efforts.
Following a successful book launch in New Zealand, Thea brought her novel Out of the Shade across the Tasman and featured at two events in Melbourne last weekend. She was invited to speak at two of the many Croatian clubs in the area. The protagonist in Thea’s novel is a strong Croatian woman named Manda, and Thea explained how she drew on her own experiences and knowledge of strong Croatian women in creating the character.
Thea now writes for pleasure but in the 1980’s Thea was writing articles and letters to the editors of prominent newspapers in an effort to educate New Zealanders on the situation in Croatia (formerly republic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) ). Croatia declared independence on June 25, 1991, and Thea was instrumental in organising the petition that led to New Zealand being one of the first countries in the world to recognise Croatian independence.
The local media in Melbourne was also interested in Thea’s own story. Pejo Maric interviewed her for his local Croatian Radio Programme , 94.7 The Pulse, which airs every Thursday evening.
Yanya Yarman has a programme on Croatian Television a, CRO TV CH31 every Sunday in Australia. Yanya is an artist and a writer herself, so was very interested in the character of Manda and her struggle towards emancipation, when she interviewed Thea last week.