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Why really, did I put the New Zealand story on the back burner?

I did begin it, but felt I knew the history too well; felt I didn’t have in interesting voice or enough originality to do justice to ideas lurking in my subconscious.

Also about this time I heard Tom Wolfe say to a large audience in Toronto just what I’d been thinking - that unless an author can write what they know with a unique and compelling voice, maybe they should get to know something else.

I began reading other people’s histories, and soon longed to know another part of the world. To see through the eyes of people whose experiences and understanding of their lives and the world were different from my own. And then came that serendipitous meeting with a Greek hair dresser.

Themes flipped up everywhere. What intrigued me most powerfully was the idea of history and its consequences – a Greek and Turkish history incorporating obsession. A restless, relentless Fate. Great love stories. Tragedy.

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