FROM HEATHER ...
WELCOME to my website. I am delighted to share with you the information, stories, documents and events it has been my privilege to explore and write about to date.
I have been overwhelmed by the response to my books. From the day Lale Sokolov mentioned Cilka’s name to me and with a trembling voice told me she was the bravest person he ever met, and she saved his life, I knew I had to know more about this young girl. As readers of Cilka’s Journey will know, she was young. Just 16 years old when taken to Auschwitz.
I had the unconditional support from my family who got to know and love Lale and hung in there with me for many years as I looked for ways to tell his and Gita’s story. To embark upon writing my second historical fiction novel, this time based on Cilka’s story required me to leave the comfort of my family and home and spend time in Slovakia where Cilka was born, before she was taken to Auschwitz – finally returning in 1956 after her release from Vorkuta Gulag.
From the experiences I was fortunate to have through the writing these books, I was honoured to bring you my first non-fiction collection of stories – Stories of Hope. I have received thousands of emails from around the world, filled with personal stories from readers about their lives, loves, losses and learnings. And this inspired me to write about the art of listening. Listening to others is what enabled me to write the stories I have and I was delighted to share my stories about listening and the extraordinary lessons and life-changing experiences that shared stories can bring about.
I then got to meet the incredible, brave Mellor sisters – Livia and Magda, and hear their story and that of their sister, Cibi. After reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz, the family reached out to me as they knew Lale and Gita. I just had to meet them and flew to Israel as soon as I could. That was when the family shared their incredible story, which I was so honoured to be able to bring to readers in Three Sisters.
My next novel, Sisters under the Rising Sun, tells the story of a group of women from Australia, England, the Netherlands and beyond, who were captured by the Imperial Japanese Army in 1942 and held in brutal conditions in a camp in the Indonesian jungle. Based mainly upon the real-life experiences of Australian nurse Sister Nesta James and English musician Norah Chambers, Sisters under the Rising Sun explores the powerful bonds of sisterhood of over 500 hundred women who struggled and survived together for nearly four years. It is an honour to be entrusted by the families of these incredible women to tell their story. I can’t wait to share it with you all.