• Maria de Jong

    Public Email mfdejong@slingshot.co.nz
    Website http://www.lifestories.co.nz

    MARIA DE JONG is a full-time writer of biographies, memoirs, creative non-fiction, family and business histories. Maria has a special interest in art, New Zealand history and South Pacific cultures. When she's not at her desk writing, she enjoys walking her border collie, Benji, in Cornwall Park. Through her business, Life Stories, Maria provides ghost writing, editing and publishing services. She enjoys the interview process and building a rapport with her subjects.

    Her career began at the New Zealand Herald and she has a Diploma in Journalism from the Auckland University of Technology. Maria has written seven books, including an award-winning art book published by Huia. She tutors evening classes in Memoir Writing.

    Maria manages Life Stories, a business which produces beautiful books, audio recordings and DVDs for clients. The team of experts at Life Stories provides advice and consultation, and produces books and audio recordings of the highest quality.

    'I believe that if we don’t record the stories of our loved ones, the lessons, stories and humour of their lives will be lost forever.' - Nick Rosenberg

    Please feel free to contact Maria about your project.

    Email: mfdejong@slingshot.co.nz

    Ph: (09) 622 3061

    Website: www.lifestories.co.nz


    “Just a note to say thank you so much for creating such a beautiful book [Island View] with Charles and Ann’s memories. It really will be a treasure to all the family in the years to come.”

    - Liz Harsant

    “I’ve been reading Two Remarkable Women with great interest and enjoyment. It is a wonderful story and you have told it with such insight into the people involved, especially Frances Elmes and Sally Rainforth. Somehow a complex situation was managed with great generosity of spirit, so that the younger generation didn’t suffer from divided loyalties … The book is beautifully produced and I love the photos.”

    - Brenda Niall, Australian biographer 


    • Adult Non-Fiction
    • AutobiographyMemoir
    • Biography
    • Business Writing
    • E-Book
    • Freelance Writer
    • GhostWriting
    • History
    • Journalism
    • Non-fiction
    • WebWriting


    • Editing
    • FreelanceWriting
    • Ghostwriting
    • Journalism
    • Tutoring
    • Website content
    • Workshops (adults)





    Island View

    Hahei was once part of a large coastal farm and one of the children who grew up on that farm, Charles Harsant, tells his story. Charles grew up free range and barefoot. There were no roads and travel was by horseback or boat.

    Charles’ wife Ann grew up in wartime England and as a young woman toured New Zealand in a Model A Ford. Ann describes her first view of Hahei:

    “It was as if we had landed on a desert island. There wasn’t a footprint to be seen and the sand was made up of tiny pink shells which glowed in the setting sun. It was truly beautiful.”

    The Harsant Brothers started farming in Hahei in 1912 and their descendants are still farming in the area. Their lives were closely intertwined with the first settlers in Hahei, the Wigmores. This book is a rich family history with tales of gum digging, kauri felling, soldiering and breaking in the land. It traces the family’s emigrant roots in England in the 1850s to modern day Hahei and is lavishly illustrated.

    260 x 200 mm, 237 pages, colour, softcover
    ISBN 978-0-473-19039-2

    Fred Graham Creator of Forms, Te Tohunga Auaha

    Fred Graham is a leading figure in New Zealand’s art world. He started his career as an art teacher, and since 1984, he has been a full-time sculptor, producing a wealth of work, and holding sell-out exhibitions. His work is displayed in public spaces in New Zealand and several Pacific Rim countries.

    This book is richly illustrated with photographs of the artworks by award-winning photographer Geoff Dale, and it includes essays by Professor Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, Professor Robert Jahnke and Dr Jill Smith that discuss Fred Graham’s work in the context of New Zealand art.

    Winner of the Arts category of the Ngā Kupu Ora Aotearoa Māori Book Awards 2014

    210 x 250mm, 200 pages, softcover
    ISBN: 9781775501343
    Cost: $49.99
    Available from Huia Publishing: www.huia.co.nz

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