On the Wind by Deryn Pittar

by | May 6, 2024 | Author | 0 comments

Origin and Evolution of “On the Wind”

I appreciate this opportunity to talk about my latest novel, ‘On the Wind’, in the Author’s Lounge.

‘On the Wind” grew from a basic plot line I devised for a workshop for a writer’s group. After the workshop I had this great plot line, and while I usually write fantasy/sci.fi. novels and short fiction, I decided it was time to once again write a novel. This is the first modern setting that I have used for a novel and basing it on the rural life we have here in New Zealand, it was an easy story to write.

The premise that you can establish a church in New Zealand, with only 15 signatures is true. Registered charities, which is a requirement of establishing a church, are exempt from tax. As long as their work continues to be charitable and profits are spent on charitable causes. I heard about this many years ago when I worked in a solicitor’s office, and I checked once more before I wrote the book. The only change made in the intervening years was the number of signatories required had risen from eleven to fifteen. Of course, James and Sarah bend this rule a little but that’s all part of the story.

Exploring Human Resilience and Frailty

Mainly, this is a character study of a couple who are doing their very best to survive against challenging circumstances. A story about human frailty and by using wind phone conversations I introduce new characters and give the reader an insight into why certain characters behave as they do.

Perhaps a reader will be inspired to establish a wind phone in their locality. The dedication is to the Japanese landscape gardener who established the first wind phone, a mechanism for people to say all the things they wished they’d said, but didn’t get the opportunity. Yes, the conversations are one-sided, but the hope that the wind will carry your words to your loved one is a lovely image.

The Genesis of a Writing Career: A Twenty-Year Journey

My journey to becoming a successful writer began twenty years ago, when after a lifetime of writing long letters and longer emails, I decided to get serious about the craft of writing. Learning to write entertaining, action packed stories with realistic dialogue and events, is a craft and like any craft it requires practice, lots of practice. Along the way I learned to take rejection and criticism of my efforts as nuggets of gold from people who knew better than me.

I was fortunate to get published after five years but again I had to learn the process of being edited and to accept the advice of people who knew a lot more than I did. And from this I wrote my first series, a paranormal/sci.fi. set in the future that covers three generations. I love writing about the future. There is ample opportunity to be creative. If you write about history, you need to do a lot of research. I’m not a researcher. I like to create worlds, not recreate them.

Recognition and Success: Awards and Accolades

I have a dystopian novel, The Carbonite’s Daughter, that grew from a short story I wrote which won a contest. The publisher asked me to turn it into a novel. It was a finalist in the Sir Julius Vogel Awards last year. The sequel, “Quake City’ is being released this coming August. A dragon story I wrote, ‘Lutapolii, White Dragon of the South’, won Best Youth Novel in the same awards in 2018, and since then I have been a finalist in many short fiction contests.

I’ve fallen in love with the short form. My biggest problem when writing a novel is to keep a steady pace. To reign in the urge to hurry on and finish the tale. I write across a wide range of genre: Sci/fi, Fantasy, Romance, Cozy Mystery, even a dash of horror – and I occasionally dabble in poetry. It brings me pleasure the challenge of writing to a prompt or a set premise, which probably explains my interest in the short form. I recently came second in a prestigious short fiction contest, in New Zealand, one I’d entered a few times before.

Continuous Learning: The Importance of Reading and Critiquing

You never stop learning and I enjoy reading and critiquing other authors’ work. This exchange is essential to any writer’s growth. Without the contribution and criticism of other writers I would never have reached the level of success I now enjoy. I can now put ‘Award Winning Author” in any resume when I submit to a publisher. I intend to keep writing and to keep learning how to be a better writer. It’s an enjoyable pursuit and requires little physical effort, only determination and a willingness to listen to advice.

I have a newsletter in which I send out, about once a month, a piece of short fiction. If you’d like to get a fresh story in your inbox, please sign-up. No charge.

My published books are listed here: Amazon


“Threatened with the loss of their farm Sarah and James do the unthinkable. they establish ‘The Church of Contemplation’. It seems a brilliant solution to their financial woes – then reality sets in. A slice of rural life, full of engaging characters and a wind phone, where you can talk to those you have loved and lost.”

Here is the link to ‘On the Wind’


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