The challenge to write The Tin Heart Gold Mine

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Mining, Politics, The Tin Heart Gold Mine, Writing Process5 Comments

My life in Zambia was a challenge but wonderful. I was lucky to have extraordinary and enriching experiences. It gave me respect and love for its people, its wilderness, wild animals and beauty. There aren’t many stories written about this period so that was an opportunity to write something new. It was a time full of confusion and conflict as colonialism ended and Africa struggled with underdevelopment and the fallout of the Cold War and it provided me with the political and historical background of The Tin Heart Gold Mine.

I met people who were passionate about Africa. They weren’t all good or altruistic but many were courageous. They inspired The Tin Heart Gold Mine.

Writing The Tin Heart Gold Mine was a challenge

A 19th century watercolour painting showing a dead elephant lying on broken gound near the elephant is the white-bearded hunter Henry Hartley. Several naked African men are pointing to the gold seam in a hole in the earth.

Detail of a painting by Thomas Baines of the discovery of Gold by the hunter Henry Hartley after shooting an elephant.

The Tin Heart Gold Mine had as long a gestation as my first book The Shaping of Water. The idea first came during a visit to an isolated safari camp in the Kafue National Park. It was close to the defunct Hippo Copper Mine, 26 years ago. It was an extraordinary sight — an ugly scar in the bush hundreds of miles from anywhere. It recalled tales of old explorers and gold-hunters who after punishing and dangerous journeys into Africa in the forlorn hope of becoming wealthy ended up with broken dreams. It made me think of Henry Hartley — no relation of mine — but a game hunter who accidentally discovered gold when an elephant he killed disturbed the earth as it died.

Read More and Comment …

The Tin Heart Gold Mine

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Art, Politics, The Tin Heart Gold Mine, Truth, Writing12 Comments

I am delighted to tell you about my latest book!

The cover shows a tin heart nailed to a tree with the book title in gold across it

“The Tin Heart Gold Mine” by Ruth Hartley. Cover design by Terry Compton Design

The Tin Heart Gold Mine is the story of Lara, a young and gifted wildlife artist. She lives and works in Chambeshi, a fictional African country whose increasing destabilisation by the Cold War results in riots and a coup attempt. Success has come early for Lara but she is not satisfied. She wants to understand the true measure of artistic worth. What kind of gold will give her life real value and merit?

Tim and Oscar

At an exhibition of her work she meets two very different men who have an enormous influence on her. Tim, an investigative journalist, becomes her friend. Oscar offers to make her rich by promoting her art. Lara likes Tim but is attracted to Oscar, who owns the small and unproductive Tin Heart gold mine yet is surprisingly wealthy and powerful. She wants love but how easy is it to tell the difference between love and sex in a new relationship? Does her thirst for success make her susceptible to Oscar even if his past and the source of his money are shrouded in mystery?

Read More and Comment …

A Citizen of Nowhere embraces the Nowhere World

Ruth HartleyArt, Corpus, Creativity, Imagination, Reading, Storytelling1 Comment

The Terra Incognito detail from the Spider Woman tapestry, with the words

Terra Incognito detail from Spider Woman by Ruth Hartley, from her Corpus exhibition

Hello Reader, are you a Citizen of Nowhere, like me? I celebrate being a citizen of the world. And, no matter your citizenship, you’re welcome in my Nowhere World of books and stories.

The Nowhere World is an imaginary dimension spun out of the dreams of writers like me for your pleasure and delight as well as for my own. Without readers, writers could not survive and without writers, there would be no readers. Without readers and writers, there would be no Nowhere World. You may ask, “Where is this magical Nowhere World and who can enter its charmed borders?”

“Anyone who wishes to,” I will say, “you, of course, and me.” It is a world where anything is possible. It’s a world where reality is always changing.

Read More and Comment …