Build Us Your Ideal Story with Noelle Clark
Writing Stone of Heaven and Earth has been a labour of love, and an accomplishment that I am proud of. My fascination with China has been there all my life. As a child I was drawn to the knickknacks and ornaments that were always referred to collectively as ‘things from China’. Back then, the exotic and unusual items conjured up for me a desire to know more, and to understand more about foreign places. The appeal of the items had me fondling them, touching them, and asking relentless questions of my grandmother as to their origin.
And so, as an adult, the tangible connection to my grandparents, via these objects, helped me to enter their world over one hundred years ago.
The story of the lives of two couples is one that is brimming with happiness, and is at times tragic almost beyond belief. The setting is exotic, exciting and fascinating. The story deserves to be told, not just for the memory of these four special people, but because it is a really good yarn. It is full of courage, pathos, emotion and is set against the backdrop of violent and crime-ridden China in the years when the rest of the world was embroiled in the chaos of the First World War. A time when China was being infiltrated and exploited by other countries to the extent that civil war and a fight by the Chinese to regain ownership of its own country made it a very dangerous place to be.
I would spend $5 on Once in a lifetime love because I’ve written a book that epitomises that concept. In Stone of Heaven and Earth, the notion of ‘lifetime’ has different connotations to those we normally expect. In fact, ‘once in a lifetime love’ is probably the single most important aspect of the story.
Then I would spend $3 on Conflict that forces personal growth because every story needs conflict, but not just made up conflict. Internal and external issues bombard us daily and part of our character is how we deal with those forces. Even the worst kind of conflict should enable personal growth of some kind. Whether it is learning to live alone; coping with little income; or facing real danger in a chaotic world.
I’m up to $8 and I want so much more in my story!
In Stone of Heaven and Earth, I would spend $10 on each of the following items, however as I can only spend a dollar on each, here they are.
$1 on Unquestioned trust between characters.
And a further $1 on Unbreakable connection between lovers.
You see, the title of my story – Stone of Heaven and Earth – embodies the unbreakable connection between my leading characters, and unquestioned love and trust. The strength of a story lies in its ability to enter the privacy of a relationship, evaluate it, and then write about it. The menu choices I’ve made are, in my current book at least, crucial to the strength of the story.
Stone of Heaven and Earth
Spanning the years 1914 to 1929, Stone of Heaven and Earth is an epic tale of love and loss, extravagant expatriate lifestyles, intense danger, heroic acts, and the hideous effects of a cruel and barbaric civil war. The complex and volatile politics in China is played out in the intimate story of two intrepid couples, foreigners who embarked on the adventure of a lifetime and made their home in China.
Based on the author’s true family history, this work of fiction is interwoven with real stories gleaned from memoirs, photographs, and from growing up hearing the stories from those who were there. Extensive research, which included time spent in China tracing the footsteps of the characters in this book, has resulted in a captivating account of foreigners in China during some of the most violent and devastating times.