Diana Menefy has lived on in rural New Zealand for the last forty-four years and writes with authority about the wet, mud and muck of a farm. She was born in Christchurch. Growing up in the South Island gave her a rich collection of experiences and images: the snow on the mountains, the autumn colours, the north-west winds - having to push her bike home as the payoff for an express ride to school.
In 1974 Diana and her husband bought the dairy farm in Tapuhi, Northland. Life on the farm with a river that flooded and three adventurous children was a great background for a budding writer. Her first stories and articles were published in the New Zealand Farmer and School Journal in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
For the next ten years most of her published work was non-fiction although she had several short stories in anthologies. She worked as a part-time feature writer for the local paper, then went freelance to work on commissioned histories. Running parallel with this was a passion for children's literature that culminated as the specialty for her master's degree in education in 2001.
2001 saw her first junior novel River Crossing and her sixth commissioned non-fiction book about Whangarei Hospital published. Learning Media accepted four of her readers for the American market and sales of Pounamu New Zealand Jade, a book aimed at the tourist market, were reaching towards 12,000. This was also the year Diana started to work for NorthTec tutoring and doing the course design for the online diplomas of applied writing. She was a principal academic staff member at NorthTec for five years before she retired in 2017.
In 2010 Shadow of the Boyd was published by HarperCollins and went on to be shortlisted in the N.Z. Post Children's Book Awards and won the LIANZA Esther Glen Medal in 2011. In 2013 Diana was asked to write one of the Kiwis at War series for Scholastic. 1915: Wounds of War was published in April 2015.
Diana is currently working on another historical novel about silver mining in New Zealand in the early 1890s and a YA murder mystery novel set in the equestrian eventing world. She has a picture book, I Had A Brother coming out in July 2019.
Where to find Diana Menefy online
Where to buy in print
Shadow of the Boyd
by Diana Menefy
In a powerful story from New Zealand’s colonial past, the bitter clash of two cultures is explored through the eyes of a young English boy who survives the infamous massacre on the Boyd in Whangaroa Harbour, New Zealand in 1809. Fourteen-year-old Thomas Davidson joins the Boyd in London as an apprentice seaman, but soon finds that life at sea is not as he imagined.
Diana Menefy's tag cloud