The seeds of the story have been with me for years as I considered a community able to embrace the gifts that every girl brings with her at birth. This would be a real, not a fantasy community, rich with strong women already living the best of themselves. Through this community, girls could easily recognise where they belong and be encouraged to live the same way.
Like my earlier books, the novel includes sources for further reading, in this case brief biographies of 25 women from 25 different countries. The Fire Keeper’s Girls was accepted onto the Women’s 125 Suffrage Site. Yet again the Howard League placed the first book order as they continue to supply my books to prison libraries. It is also available in Australia through the Library service.
During the year, I attended two conferences with relevance to my latest storytelling session, Peacemakers in these Islands – from Rēkohu and Parihaka to the Nuclear Ban Treaty and Nobel Peace Prize (2017) and beyond.
The first was a conference on the legal and political implications of the first Nuclear Weapons Ban, The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and subsequent awarding of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to the organisers, International Campaign To Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).
Both these momentous events, the Ban and the Nobel Peace Prize feature in my storytelling session about peacemakers.
The second was SOCCON, a national educational conference for the social sciences community where I gave a workshop introducing both storytelling and my Peacemakers session to teachers.