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.