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Monday, 19 March 2012

Articles For Taranaki Daily News

Author's fascination with war spurs novel with local flavour

Taranaki author and history buff Sid Marsh toured the villages of northern Italy finding authentic voices for his debut novel.
Greyhound was launched at Puke Ariki this week and it follows the exploits of the NZ 2nd Division which fought throughout Italy during World War II.
"I spoke to locals over there and had a yarn with Italian writers, novelists, historians and reporters," Marsh, 55, who went to Italy in 2008 and 2010, said.
During his five weeks in Italy, the Eltham writer also visited the Vatican City and Triest, the city where the New Zealand 2nd Division ended its Italian campaign.
The novel is also the result of hours of research done at Alexander Turnbull Library and the Archives New Zealand Building in Wellington.
Filled with terse humour and the banter typical of Kiwi soldiers, Greyhound has a Taranaki spin, with the main characters hailing from the province.
A WWII history buff, Marsh also interviewed Taranaki veterans, to help give his novel authenticity.
The author said he had always been fascinated by the war.
"I've been interested in WWII for years," he said. "About 10 years ago I started looking into tank warfare, and I've always been a sucker for Sherman and Tiger tanks".
An author for 22 years, Marsh has written several non-fiction books which explore his other passion, New Zealand wildlife.
He said he would decide whether to continue with fiction after seeing how well Greyhound was received. "If it sinks like a stone, I'll stick to non-fiction."
Greyhound is available from Woodshed publishers for $39.99.


Articles for Taranaki Daily News

Car groomers given a clean start

A new carwash business in New Plymouth is offering a leg-up to New Plymouth's unemployed.
Mick Willbourne, who runs similar businesses in Wellington and Tauranga, has employed four people through Work and Income at his Courtenay St Shop n' Shine site and hopes to hire two more.
"We are working with Winz to employ people who have a difficult time finding work," said Mr Willbourne, who is also offering work experience opportunities at the carwash.
Originally from Romford, East London, Mr Willbourne has been in New Zealand for about five years, and has previously worked as a butcher, owned a delicatessen and has worked in various hospitality positions.
He said he decided to open Shop n' Shine in New Plymouth due to a lack of similar services here.
"There's great opportunities for small businesses in Taranaki. We saw an opening in the market and decided to go for it."
Launched to coincide with Americarna last month, Shop n Shine's prices range from $15 for a quick wash to $50 for a more thorough mini-groom.
Work and Income Taranaki- King Country commissioner for social development, Gloria Campbell, said Mr Willbourne's initiative was to be applauded.
"This is great news for four local job seekers who are now in paid work. I hope other young people looking for work will be encouraged by this."
Work and Income offers a range of assistance to employers who provide first-time workers with a job or support unskilled workers who require training.
The assistance can include subsidising wages and funding for training.
Mrs Campbell encouraged other Taranaki employers to get in touch with their local Work and Income work broker, whether they were considering hiring now or in the future.

Jimmy Hick is a Witt journalism student.