Dr Annamaria Garden talks to NZ Booklovers about her book Oscar Garden: A Tale of One Man's Love of Flying.
Tell us a little about your book.
My book is a human interest story as well as being about one man’s adventures in flying in the early days. It is about one man navigating his way upwards and then coming crashing down. In the course of his trajectory we learn a lot about flying, what made the early pioneers do ikt, and how primitive it all was, even in the TEAL days. He made a well-known flight from England to Australia in a tiny plane in 1930 but this is not the main story. The latter is how one man carved out a life for himself in flying.
What inspired you to write the book?
He was an interesting character and had an extraordinary life. He was well-known in his time but his life was worth writing about aside from that.
What research was involved?
A lot. I tried to gather every bit of detail that I could. There were quite a few photos from the Alexander Turnbull Library. MOTAT received several visits from me. They had lots of old photos, letters and memorabilia. Mostly, though, I ransacked old newspapers from the UK, Australia and New Zealand. The backbone of the book is from these.
What was the most interesting discovery you made about your father while researching the book?
He never stopped loving flying even when he had left TEAL and left flying. His memorabilia (in a suitcase under his bed) were all about flying and nothing else.
Tell us about your background in the field of management psychology, how do you think this has influenced you in writing the book?
I started my career as an economist with a couple of degrees and some time at the NZ Treasury and then UK Treasury. I left NZ for 24 years, most of it in London. When there I decided to leave Economic s and did an MBA at Cranfield School olf Management partly to discover what to do next. There, I found my ‘field’- Organisation Behaviour or Management Psychology. I went on to do a PhD in this subject at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston (MIT) and have stayed in this field ever since. I started at London Business School and then left to create my own organisational consultancy. Apart from my father’s book, all six other books have been in this field. This influenced my father’s book. My take on his life looks at him making career and life choices, for example. I look at his management years in TEAL from a management psychology eye. This is how I have been trained to look.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
Feeling uplifted by then tales of derring-do, an understanding of one man, my father, and what drove him and his life, the positive factors in my father’s psyche that are revealed and an appreciation of flying in the early days.
Oscar Garden: A Tale of One Man's Love of Flying by Dr Annamaria Garden
Published by Mary Egan Publishing, RRP $45.00