Saturday, October 24, 2009

Naseby, Central Otago

How wonderful to get away for a few days. Already read two books today and spent some time writing Bloodlines. After an hour in 11th Century Scotland, I popped down to the local dairy and walked straight into the sound of a thick Scottish accent. The dairy owner is from the highlands and he had heard of Banquo's Son.

Thanks to Matthew and Tracey of Larchview Holiday Park who have kindly allowed me to access the internet (the only place of know of in Naseby which gets reception). Last year, I spend some time in their wonderful park writing Banquo's Son. If you're ever thinking of a holiday in Central Otago, NZ, come here.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Banquo's Son reviewed on National Radio

What a fantastic review by John McIntyre from the Children's Book Shop in Wellington. Go here to listen to the pod cast. Wonderful stuff also about Mandy Hager's new book The Crossing. I totally agree with his comments.

Standout line about Banquo's Son from John: it's Shakespeare meets Dianna Gabaldon. Score!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Banquo's Son still on best seller's list

it's a huge deal for me that my book has hit the list once again. NZ only includes the top five fiction in it's weekly list. It would be nice if they had the top ten. Getting daily emails and FB messages and messages via people how much they love Banquo's Son. The comments overwhelmingly contain references to how cinamatic the novel is and how the readers are so looking forward to Bloodlines. Still a 50/50 split as to who they prefer for Fleance: Rosie or Rachel.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Re-writing Shakespeare

I have just discovered yet another intriguing novel which is described as the prequel to Hamlet based on the sonnets. Go here to visit Merlin Hermes site which showcases her new novel The Lunatic, the lover and the poet. It looks amazing and I love the YouTube promo. I think this will be a significant addition to the wonderful novels using Shakespeare's plays and sonnets as sources.

John Marsdon published 'Hamlet, the novel' last year and it was a wonderful read.

Of course, there's Mal Peet's Exposure which just won the Guardian's Children's Prize. It's a modern version of Othello.

And, just published (the same time as Banquo's Son) is Lisa Klien's Lady Macbeth's daughter.

What fun! (now, back to the marking)

Banquo's Son - another great review

Writing a sequel to one of Shakespeare’s tragedies is no mean feat, but to carry it out with the eloquence and passion displayed by T. K. Roxborogh in her recent novel Banquo’s Son demonstrates pure genius.

Banquo’s Son, the first in an upcoming trilogy, tells the story of Fleance, the son of Thane Banquo in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, ten years after the events of the play. It weaves an intricate pattern of politics, honour, corruption and love that skilfully echoes Macbeth and satisfies the Shakespearean fan who craves an answer to the play’s greatest unanswered question: Will the witches’ prophecy about Banquo be fulfilled?

Shakespeare may have left us little legacy regarding the character and personality of Fleance, but Ms. Roxborogh does not disappoint us. Courageous, honourable, intelligent and chivalrous, he takes his place among some of the playwright’s greatest protagonists. The reader is taken on an epic journey with Fleance as he comes to terms with his past and his heritage, and wrestles with his love for Rosie. Along the way we encounter Scottish nobles, political dissent, hidden agendas, true friendship, and the three witches, who once again attempt to corrupt the throne of Scotland through deception and the poisoning of the mind.

The style of the novel is crafted cleverly; the narrative is composed in modern day English, whereas the speech is Elizabethan in manner. Writes Ms. Roxborogh inside the front cover of Banquo’s Son, “I imagined myself sitting at Shakespeare’s desk penning this sequel.” This has visibly proven itself throughout the text, as the reader feels as though he is treading Fleance’s journey in the shoes of a 16th century English citizen.

Ms. Roxborogh draws on complex Shakespearean themes in her novel with expertise and dexterity, displaying tremendous talent and brilliance. Fleance’s love for Rosie is challenged by the need to revenge his father’s death, similar to the predicament that Shakespeare’s Hamlet finds himself in in the eponymous play. Also, both men struggle with their upper class status preventing them from marrying their lower class love interest. Banquo’s Son is a treasure trove of Shakespearean issues, knitted together in an adroit fashion, that have been deliberated for centuries.

Banquo’s Son is a fresh, innovative story that is a delight for modern readers yet does not sacrifice the multifarious nature and complexity of its Shakespearean prequel. Ms. Roxborogh has balanced canon with originality and forged an extraordinary masterpiece, worthy of its predecessor. William Shakespeare would be proud.

Banquo's Son is a novel written by Dunedin author Tania Roxborogh, the first in a trilogy, penned as a sequel to Shakespeare's Macbeth. It was published by Penguin Books in 2009.

Matthew Schep October 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Authors must never respond to a review but...

.... it's wonderful when your fans do. Go here to read Matthews response to a review which was part of NZ Book Month. Hamlet and Ophelia - spot on! And, the comments about the similarities between Hamlet and Fleance - wow! I hadn't even thought about that. That's one of the things I love about writing: when other people see things in your work and you were too busy writing to notice. Score, Matthew!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Banquo's Son - on line and on the airways presence

Today, my interview with Vanda Symon on the Write On Radio Show aired and you can check out their archived podcasts within the next few days.

Also, check out the National Radio pod cast - very cool to get a Scottish accent reading parts of the book. Scroll down till you get to the link but be quick cos they only hold them for a short time.

Today was Dunedin Diary with Dougal Stevenson on Channel 9.

Tomorrow, Easy Mix interview with my husband's nephew Tim Roxborogh

And, my reality is teaching, marking mock exams and sorting out the mess which is my class room. In four more weeks, I will have time in the evenings and weekends to continue the journey.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Banquo's Son - Auckland Launch, 10th October

Tania's sister Sharon, Tania, and, mother Joy.

Most of us, writers and readers, think that a writer’s lot is a solitary one; however TK Roxborogh’s latest novel, ‘Banquo’s Son’, launched by Belynda Smith, Children’s Librarian at Takapuna Library on 10 October, we were enlightened. For this novel to be in bookstores now, the relationship between the publisher (Vicki Marsden from Penguin Group), the writer and her critique circle – a group of astute students from Columba College, was a crucial one in the writing process. From the time that Tania sent an email to Vicki in November 08, with ‘What I’m working on’ in the tag line, to Vicki picking it up in December 08 and saying to Tania, ‘120,000 words by March 2009’, an intense, exciting and challenging 3-way bond developed and the outcome is ‘Banquo’s Son.” Tania was also grateful for the input from Fleur Beale, another well-known New Zealand writer who helped with the final editing.

Tania, a writer of over 20 books and teacher of Shakespeare for over 20 years has come up with an interesting angle – what happened to Fleance, the son of Banquo? Remember – the witches prophesised that Banquo would not be king, but his lineage would.
As always, Tania, a gifted speaker as well as a wonderful writer, entertained a select audience of over 50, including ex- students, teaching colleagues, publishing personnel, family and friends, with how the novel came about and left us all wanting to hear more – about the novel, about its planned sequels and about the writer.
One to watch, I prophesise.
Jeannie McLean

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Coup de Main

I have just discovered this amazing online magazine ( two months ago). Now they have me and Banquo's Son as a feature. Go. Go on. It will be good.

Best Seller

Just learned Banquo's Son is third on the best seller list. Wahoo.

Great interviews today. Lots of signings. Loving the warmth of Auckland. Hating that my house needs a crap load of work but pleased to see friends and family and delight in the smell that is Auckland. Tsunami warnings taken seriously this time - very concerned with the extreme low tide and yes, higher waves than normal happened.

It's been a long day but very enjoyable.

News flash: two hours in Auckland Central Library and discovered the real Banquo and his son Fleance. OMG. So excited. They were REAL.

Being famous author person in Auckland

Working on someone else's computer can be hazardous. I just spent half an hour inserting links into my message and clicked on something which deleted the whole post.

Arrghh. Anyway, I'll try to remember what I wrote:

This morning I spoke to my eldest daughter who is in Wellington for the New Zealand Secondary Students choir. 'Why are you in Auckland?' she asked. 'Being famous-author-person,' I replied. She snorted. Children are so hard to impressed. But it's true. I'm here for signings and interviews and author events and to catch up with friends and family and offically launch Banquo's Son here in Auckland.

Yesterday, I signed books and talked to booksellers. I finally caught up with (in real time and space) with the delightful Melinda Syzmanik as well as Michele Powles, the 2010 Burns Fellow along with my dear friend, writer Jeannie Mclean (who is hosting me while I'm here).

Today it's a bit of a fun time with my husband's nephew, radio star Tim Roxborogh on Easy Mix and later an interview for the Arts of Sunday programme for National Radio.
Later in the week there are few more events planned but I'll blog about those after the events.

It's kinda strange being pulled back into the world of Banquo's Son and listening to people discuss it when I'm now so far (in my brain more than the word count) of Bloodlines.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Is this a sequel I see before me? Extracts from Listener review

This is the best so far and to be in the Listener, no less:
Banquo’s son is a gripping, ripping adventure and, like Shakespeare himself, Roxborogh is a riveting story-teller… the slightly mannered style and quasi-formal dialogue are very readable and evoke a plausible enough 11th-century Scotland. Particularly affecting are the acts of treachery on the brutal and bloody battlefields…Banquo’s Son certainly has elements reminiscent of Meyer’s Twilight series – tortured adolescents, honour versus love, supernatural influences – but thankfully it also has strong female characters and a likeable, principled hero. Who know whether thanes and kings will become the new vampires, but it’s certainly an appealing thought. Reviewed by Catriona Ferguson

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Snippets of reviews coming in since the launch

From FaceBook (I've removed last names for their privacy:
Jessica: i finished Banquos son and absolutely loved it. Its amazing! i can't wait ofr blood lines
Janine: Finished Banquo's Son and LOVED IT!!!!!
Jessica: i started reading it the night of the book launch, and i hate you because i have done no work since!
Anne: After touching THE book at the airport Whitcoulls... I now have the library copy in my bag to take home & read... finally!

Via email:
From Joanna Orwin - a very gifted writer whose honest review was appreciated:
I was fully caught up in the story once you introduced Duncan at Glamis castle - from there on I thought your writing lifted to a higher level and maintained that throughout the book, showing an assurance and pace that wasn't quite there for me in the first 60 pages. Partly this reflects of course the usual reader's need to be convinced - beginnings are always so difficult! But I really liked the developing relationship between the two young men and found that more convincing than the early scenes between Fleance and Rosie (the later ones worked better for me, once they were separated and meeting only occasionally, with all that irresolution, lack of understanding and tension, and the added complication of Rachel). I do think you've handled a complex story with aplomb, and it's definitely a page-turner once you hit your stride. When you take into account the speed with which you had to write this book and the time pressure you were under, it's a remarkable achievement, Tania.

Ruth McInytre, The Children's Bookshop,Wellington: Yes I have finished Banquo's Son. I loved it and I did cry! (I can't post anymore of her email cos it will give away the story)

Belynda Smith, Children's and Teenage Services Librarian, Takapuna Library:
I loved it! I often struggle with historical fiction but loved Banquo’s son. I feel a real fondness for the characters and keep thinking about them all long after finishing the book. I can’t wait to join them all again in Bloodlines.

From the web:
Storytime Books:
The characters are wonderfully real, the story beautifully told, and the ambitious plan to write a sequel to Macbeth is carried off with great style and many references to events in the original play. I look forward to the next volume.

Snippets from the Print Media:Nicolas Reid, Sunday Star Times: ...She gives us quite an enjoyable yarn of what could have happened to Fleance once his father was murdered...Banquo's Son does the business as a page turner

Otago Daily Times. Reviewed by Gillian Vine: Banquo's Son is a good read.

NB: the above two reviews mainly just tell the story so I've pulled out the positive gush cos that's what we like to read.