Guest Post — Lizzi Tremayne

What draws us to history?

  • Is it the romance of a different time from our own?
  • Is it what history can show us about ourselves?
  • How we’re different from or similar to others in the past?
  • Does it show us links to the people we were, and how we will be in the future?
  • Does it show us where we’ve diverged when people have made new beginnings?
  • Do we hope it will give us hints about where to seek in the eternal quest for who we are and where we fit in to this world?

Lizzi_archerFor me, this last reason is why I write in the historical genre. When I began writing, I never thought about all this. I only knew I was drawn to stories of the past. The Dark Ages, the Elizabethan Period, and the Old West equally held me enraptured since even before I began to read myself, for the simple first reason above.

I began researching and writing historical novels only a few years ago. It soon became clear that I was looking for answers to questions in my own history and present. What I discovered has helped me become more comfortable with the person I am.

As I study, I repeatedly ask myself how I can make the information I unearth palatable to someone who might never pick up a book of historical fact, search out an old battle record or travel to a remote graveyard to read the inscription on an old tombstone. Can I offer readers some inkling of what happened in their own town or country to give it the unique flavour it carries today?  Some idea of why a certain town emerged just when it did? Most importantly, to shed light upon the reasons a particular society developed the way it has? Perhaps it will provide a piece of the puzzle, which will allow a whole population to try to open the doors previously closed upon the past, allowing healing of the hidden wounds that prevent peaceful cohabitation.

Several towns in the West define themselves as being part of the Pony Express Trail. The stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder played a large part in my understanding of the westward-moving American pioneer, and the peoples and lands they encountered, and how the settlers dealt with adversity. In my first novel, Express Desired, soon to be published, I use Aleksandra, the daughter of a Polish immigrant trapper family, to show snapshots of 1860 life in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains. She must survive when she is left alone in the world, and becomes a “boy” rider for the famed Pony Express.


Although the ‘Pony’ as it was called, only lasted for a mere eighteen months, it still captures the imaginations of thousands, if not millions, of people, even one hundred and fifty years after its inception.

I show some interactions with American Indians in the novel,  both positive aspects and negative.

In my second novel, A Sea of Green Unfolding, more than halfway completed, I showhistorical aspects of 1860’s history of both the San Francisco Bay Area, (or the part from Redwood City, via La Honda, and through to San Gregorio)  and 1863 New Zealand. Discover why  Redwood City grew so quickly? Learn why it was called Redwood City. In the same book, I offer the reader aspects of New Zealand history which are certainly not taught in primary, and only rarely in secondary schools here. They are shadowy aspects of our history which portions of our society wish had never happened, and would rather forget. Although almost apologetic, many of those who know are content to bury it beneath the carpet, so most people are unaware of the whole story and resolution cannot be attained. This untold history has shaped us as the people we have become. The conflicts began long ago between the Maori (and before that, the earlier Moriori) people who had already settled New Zealand before Captain Cook came in the 1700’s and the white settlers from England, Europe and Asia.  There was wrongdoing on both sides, but much has remained hidden from the general view.

Overall, I hope to effectively use history to paint a picture, so that readers can better understand some of their own past, answer some of their questions about themselves and become more comfortable with their own place in the world.


Lizzi has just completed her first novel, and is halfway through the second.

Lizzi_old west

About her first, Express Desired, an historical Fictional Suspense with Romantic Elements: Seventeen year old Aleksandra Lekarski, alone and running to prevent her pa’s killer from obtaining a secret which could allow world domination by the Czar, conceals herself as a boy Pony Express rider in 1860’s Utah Territory. Her “Californio” boss Xavier Arguello has a spirit to match her own—along with a mutually undeniable attraction—and together they overcome the evil that threatens them.

A Sea of Green Unfolding  is the sequel to Express Desired, about a young couple’s journey to adventure from the California of 1862 to the turbulent wilderness of New Zealand. Tragedy strikes in Aleksandra and Xavier’s newly found paradise on their California Rancho and Von Tempsky’s invitation draws them to a new life in New Zealand—where the land wars between the European settlers and the local Maori have only just begun.


Lizzi says she is rewriting her life. She is the mother of two teenaged boys, a part time hobby farmer, a medieval re-enactor and archer, a kayaker, a carriage competition driver, a gardener, a singer, a cook and an equine veterinarian with post-doc veterinary certification in equine dentistry. Following a back injury, she works part time at equine veterinary dentistry and part time at high school teaching of Science/Bio/Chem. Mostly, though, she’s writing! She looks forward to your visits to her blog and to hearing your thoughts on the above.

Writing Blog:
About Me

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

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About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

6 Responses to Guest Post — Lizzi Tremayne

  1. Donna Coe-Velleman says:

    You’re books sound intriguing. Period peices always draw me in. Thanks.

  2. Bethanne says:

    I love Heather Graham’s books set during the Civil War. She did her research!! Not only that, she writes a strong, sexy hero! And heroine’s who are made to match them.

    I think when authors add a story to the history, they truly do connect with readers better than any text book ever has. I’ve always appreciated history, even in school, but it wasn’t until I read romance that I found myself LOVING history.

    Thanks for sharing, Lizzi!

  3. Bethanne says:

    Oh, and love the archer photo!

  4. Ngaire Phillips says:

    Great blog Lizzy. For me, story telling is a great way of not only passing on factual information, but also inspiring readers to enquire further, to question their relationship to the story, the story teller and the characters (looking for the familiar and unfamiliar). It also offers an alternative learning experience. As a scientist and educator (like yourself), I use story telling as a way of engaging and hopefully inspiring others to see the relevance of science in their own lives. I’m sure there’s plenty of romance amongst the many interesting science stories!

    As a New Zealander who grew up during a period when history meant learning about the US or China, with only a smattering of local history, I know too well the gaps in knowledge of my country’s social and cultural history. I look forward to reading your interpretation.

  5. I find history and by extension, historicals, fascinating and part of it is because I’m interested in learning more about my family roots. It’s the every day details–the social history that I find intriguing.

    I’m a New Zealander, and it constantly amazes me how some people conveniently forget that the Maori people killed each other off and raided other tribes too. The arrival of Cook and other Europeans added more coals to the fires. Definitely faults on both sides.

    It’s great to see books with such different historical settings. Good luck with them!

  6. susan says:

    Hi. Moriori did not settle NZ before Maori. Moriori settled Rekohu (Chatham Islands) directly from Polynesia

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