Thursday, August 27, 2009

The creation of my new website

Jessica Napper, Y13 at Columba College is designing and creating my new website. Here's a sneak peak at the start of the home page. Lots of details still to be added but I like.

My writing space doesn't usually look that tidy and there's usually toast crumbs and half drunk cups of cold coffee but Jessica wisely decided not to include these as they cluttered the look. You will be able to click on photos and get updated bio information; the paper weight with the Virgina Woolf's quote will lead you to a page of advice for writers from various people; the books will link through to my novels, my news and events etc. The pad you see is the writing pad I use to record ideas and thoughts about my current novel. Each new novel has a new spiral bound, brightly coloured, hard cover, exercise book. This one currently contains lots of scribbles and notes for Bloodlines. Banquo's Son's exercise book was lime green.

Here's what the inside will look like but, of course, there's no content yet. That's my hold up.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Penguin New Zealand have three titles that they are particularly pleased to be publishing later in the year and to generate excitement among booksellers they have published a 110 page book with excerpts from all three books. The book has been distributed to the trade.
The three titles are:
ACCESS ROAD - Maurice Gee - $37 - October
BANQUO'S SON - T.K.Roxborogh - $37 - October
THE TROWENNA SEA - Witi Ihimaera - $37 - November

this was my response:
I didn't know Penguin were doing this. What an absolute honour for me to be connected with such giants of literature.

The first NZ book I read as a child (not counting school journals) was Witi's 'Whanau' (my step-brother was given it as a school prize). I think I was 10 or 11. It had a huge impact on me.

Someone asked me once which author would be most like to be like and I said Maurice Gee. From Under the mountain (my 6th form year)to the Plumb Trilogy (uni days), I have just about every novel published by him.

I see Bookman, that I will share something else with Witi - people unfortunately spelling our last names incorrectly.

Reading your announcement has made my day.

I was brave and looked...

The book has hardly left my side. It sits on my desk. On Wednesday, at the end of class, a group of very eager students implored me to let them read the book. Six weeks to the launch, I told them, you will have to be patient. Go have your lunch.

Anyway, in a moment of bravery, I opened it at a random place and began reading. Suddenly, it seemed, the bell rang and lunchtime was over. Is it shameful to get carried away in a story you wrote yourself?

The reviews are beginning to come in unofficially as journalists make arrangements for interviews. Everyone’s lovin’ it! So far it’s evenly divided between Team Rachel and Team Rosie. How do you choose between Love and Honour? How to you choose between two very cool (but very different) young women?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It came!

The real book is now in my possession. I made hubby interrupt his plans to bring it to school. There were excited squeals and gasps and holding and oohing over and over as each class heard about its arrival. It has not left my side all day and sits beside me now, cooing and looking stunning.

It is one of the most beautiful books I've had published. I'm terrified to open it but I have looked at the first few pages and the acknowledgements have been eagerly read by the babes.

The title is embossed, the inside covers are gold. I am a very proud author and I keep thinking (as I did when each of my children were born), I made that!

Monday, August 10, 2009

I had to put this here cos I've had a hard day

From Siobhan (Penguin) in response to the blog:

We got the advances of the book in today and it looks wonderful - everything that we had imagined it would be. We're all getting very excited about the release of the book - we know it's going to be THE must have book for Xmas.
Can't wait to read the next installment - I'm in Rachel's corner!

Thanks Siobhan, a much needed injection of positive warmth for this ravaged writer/teacher/mother

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I should be writing but...

I just wanted to say how wonderful and frustrating it is being caught up in a mammoth story: this weekend, I read the first 25,000 words and was dismayed at some of the rubbish I'd written and then I was delighted at the absolutely fab and exciting stuff. I love Henri. Rachel is my new best friend. Rosie is such a trooper. Fleance is one lucky guy.

Now, I have to go back to my other self: teacher and mother. Bring on next weekend when I can do it all again.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

why writers need their team

Today, it was just a sentence but it was a wonderful sentence from my publisher and it reminded me how much I need her to keep me on course. Sometimes, I feel I live so deeply in my head with these characters I forget there is at least one other who understands them as much as I do and can remind me of 'the way'. It was like realising that there are lovely men in the bright orange coats and walkie talkies just to the side and up ahead; like, I am not alone in my long journey to the end of this second story.

Thanks, Vicki. I've taken the next deep breath and pushed on.