Author Interview with Elise Brooke

I recently learnt about Elise and read her book and have to say that I enjoyed it a lot. I asked if she was interested in doing an author interview and she was all for it. Let's learn a little more about this author from New Zealand.

Author Name: Elise Brooke and pen name Sheila Smith

Author Website:

Author Email:

Author’s social media links (Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter etc.)

Instagram thenewzealanddream

Authors Series and list of books.

The New Zealand Dream by Sheila Smith; The seeds are sown

Growth and Destruction

Healing and restoration

Johnathan by Richard Brooke, published by Elise Brooke

Tell me a little about yourself, where do you live, family, hobbies!

I grew up in Hawkes Bay New Zealand. My parents moved to NZ from England and South Africa. I now live in the beautiful east coast Gisborne. I have written and published two autobiographies in my book series "The New Zealand Dream,” by Sheila my pen name. I wrote these books to inspire and give hope to others. I use my pen name Sheila for my autobiography series.

Writing is a very powerful healing tool, sharing your story can give help others and help yourself on your healing journey. I am a writing mentor who can help people write their own story and with any writing project they are creating. I have mentored students working for Wellington polytechnic.

My passion is creative writing, I’ve been writing for 24 years in fiction, non-fiction, poetry and content. I have published many articles, short stories and guest posted on various sites such as “Melissa Desveaux consulting,” Sarah White “True stories well told,” “Medium,” and Lillian Brummet “Brummets conscious Blog.”

I work for the platform “Leveraged writings,” where I regularly write articles.

I conduct interviews on my website I built from scratch to help promote my fellow writers and host guest posting to collaborate with other writers, I currently have 8 writers writing for my blog.

I regularly write articles for my blog based around themes from my books and writing sharing one’s story.

What got you into writing?

I turned to writing as a therapy and it became my passion.

What’s the main thing you love and hate about writing?

I hate editing I struggle with this as I am dyslexic. I love giving hope and inspiration to others.

How do you select the names of your characters?

So far I have used fake names of real people, in “Johnathan” real names are used except the main character who my Father chose his name.

What is next on your list to write/publish?

A book called Johnathan my father helped write.


I did not know my father very well, I knew I was the apple of his eye and I knew in his own way he loved me with all his heart. I guess my father never really knew what love was or how to show this. Mum and dad divorced when I was four years old, I saw my father when he baby sat while Mum was working or when he tagged along on my Mum’s planned outings with the family. Although I was a lot closer to my Father than my Mum, there was so much no one spoke about and remained a mystery. In 2009 when he passed away this started to change. Being the eldest child I was left to clear out his belongings from the rest home he had been living in the past few years. I found a book he had written and never published, this book was called “Johnathan.” While reading the book I learnt that “Johnathan,” was the character of my Father, this was his whole life story till the age of 16. The mystery of my father unraveled as I learnt of his struggles growing up.

The story starts in Yorkshire England in the 1940’s, at the age of four his father a Navy officer was called to fight as World War two broke out, leaving my father in their Mothers care, his older brother was moved off to boarding school. One night the famous Barton Docks were bombed, including the house they lived in and they were lucky to be pulled out alive! My father and his Mother moved to Manchester to live with his Aunty, time past and his mother became more and more unwell, she was admitted to hospital for the foreseeable future. This left his elderly Aunty and Uncle to look after him, when his Uncle got sick and required more care the Aunty could no longer look after my father and sent him to a place called “Oxley Hall.” A Lord and Lady lived here and helped out families of Naval officers in need. It was not long before events beyond my father’s control meant he was kicked out and moved on again. My father was now moved half way across England to a place he referred to as “The Institute.” My father it seemed had nowhere to call home, he suffered from loneliness and felt he didn’t belong anywhere at the tender age of just 14. The “Institute” was a strict old fashioned boys home, which my father described as prison! No one was allowed to leave the isolated country premises unless they had a visitor or went home for the holidays. My father never received any visitors and had nowhere to go in the holidays he, was stuck there! Until one day he decided to change that…

What is your favorite childhood book?

The BFG by Roald Dahl

Who is your favorite author, and why?

Wilber Smith, as he is very descriptive and captivating and he writes stories set in my mothers home country South Africa.

Who encouraged you the most to write?

My fiancé Tony

Are you as avid a reader as a writer?

No, I prefer writing to reading.

What’s your favorite genre?

True stories, memoir and biography

Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what type? Or can’t you stand background noise when writing?

I have to have silence.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Stress and pressure and if I am unwell.

Tell me a secret that none of your fans know! Do you like to cook or perhaps only wear a certain color sock!

I am getting married in September this year.

Tell me what your main character would say about you!

The main character is me in The New Zealand Dream.

In Johnathan it is my Father, he would say “you are all I have left, you are my family.”

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

One unpublished due out in 2022 the finale in The New Zealand Dream series.

One being published this month July 2021, “Johnathan”

Two children’s books, “A Gamers warning” and “Dandelion Wishes” not finished

One Crime, “Hidden Agender” story not finished

One Romance finished but not published, “Stargazing” it won an award this year.

Two books of poetry unpublished

A book idea “Ethel” about my grandmother’s murder

My Mother’s travel diaries

What is your motto in life?

No one is responsible for my happiness but me

Does your family support your career as a writer?

Only my fiancé does

Finally, any words of advice?

Writing and sharing ones story has brought me healing and it can do the same for you.

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