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‘Out of the Shade’ crosses the Tasman


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.

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Book signing – Green Bay Bookshop


Thea at the book signing at the Green Bay Bookshop on Saturday.  It was election day and despite the torrential rain, visitors still came out to the Bookshop this weekend.

Thank you to David for the full window display for ‘Out of the SHADE’. The paperback is available for sale from his book shop at 58 Godley Rd in Green Bay.

Charlie the community cat is always around the action in Green Bay and was unperturbed by the comings and goings at the book shop this weekend. He stayed cosy and curled up on the chair in front of the counter, letting out a little whine in his sleep from time to time.  He was certainly a great example of how to spend a wet windy day.  Warm, cosy and curled up with a good book!


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Out of the Shade – Reviewed

COVER1A_cTo purchase Out of the Shade click here …


Reviewed by Ila Selwyn 1/08/14

Out of the SHADE

by Thea Gilich

The cover of a woman gazing through a window at a sunrise across the sea is enticing.
Her body is in shade and it is clear she wants to come out of the shadows and become herself.

I found the novel compelling to read and highly recommend it. Within the first few paragraphs I was already seeing things through Manda’s eyes as she began to sketch. I was hooked on her story when she came home to find her husband had burned all her sketches. That was the moment when I realised this wasn’t just a novel for older women, as I originally felt. Manda’s story will speak to any woman of any age who is boxed in by circumstances, either of her own making or made by someone else.

Manda’s story is uplifting. In spite of a husband who treats her as someone to cook and clean for him, not as an equal partner; in spite of being expected to look after their  grandchildren for her own fulfilment; in spite of her Dally background and Catholic faith, which frowns on affairs and divorces, though will offer repentance; in spite of the church still refusing a divorced person the right to remarry; Manda has the courage to go on a journey to find herself.

The only aspect I found slightly jarring is the narrow view of a woman being a man’s property, giving him the right to sex.

            ‘What Manda thought of as her shame, Ivy would consider, as Manda once had, a husband’s sacred right.’
page 158.

But as the marital rape exemption wasn’t abolished in New Zealand until 1985, many who grew up before that time, would still consider a husband had the right, particularly if the church reinforced that view.

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Book Launch – Out of the SHADE

The painted image of a nude rested on an easel in the corner of the room whilst guests circulated around the room.  A watercolour created by her friend in Australia.  This was the inspiration that encouraged Thea to make ‘Manda’, the protagonist in her latest novel, an artist.

PET_8271The book launch was organised by Westridge Publishing and hosted at a private function in a West Auckland winery.  It was well attended with over 100 people celebrating the release of, Out of the SHADE.

Described as ‘inspirational fiction’ this novel is an artist’s journey, but more than that, it is the story of a woman’s progress towards emancipation.

Thea welcomed her guests and spoke a little about her own journey as a writer.

‘Having decided that ‘Manda’ was going to be an artist, something I knew little about, there was much to learn and a lot of research to do…’  This included many visits to galleries and conversations with artists. ‘..and then it was done.’

The next step was the editing and publishing process.  At 77 yrs, Thea finds the technology of modern book publishing can be a bit baffling.

‘ I thought a Mobi was a whale and an ePUB, was somehere you could get a quiet drink…’ she mused.  ‘ with kindle, kobi, e-readers and ipads… and websites,  yes we have one of those.. I am quite happy to leave the technical side to my daughter- in-law.’

PET_8291 Book sales were well supported by the guests who were present and Thea was available to sign them.

All in all a very successful event.

Buy this book.

Books are available from this website at the retail price of NZ $19.90

The  list of bookstores stocking the novel will be regularly updated on this website.

Find out more about how to buy this book…

A novel way to fundraise

A fundraising initiative was also announced whereby clubs and organisations can invite Thea to speak at an event and retain 25% of all book sales.

Find out more about the novel way to fundraise..


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Out of the Shade

Out of the Shade
Price NZ $19.90

COVER1A_cManda’s husband Steve regards her sketches mere bits of paper and has no qualms in burning them.

Devastated she feels she’ll never be able to draw again. Yet, lacking something to do in the new flat in Mission Bay, she is soon drawn back to her old passion.

Slowly her life changes as her passion turns to obsession she finds she no longer wants to fit the mould of everyone’s expectations. Her rebellion widens the rift between her and Steve and divides family and friends as they take sides.

This is an artist’s journey, but even more, it is the story of a
woman’s growth to emancipation.


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