Theremin in the (a)ether(wave)

Okay, what the hell is going on? Everywhere I look it’s theremin (TV), theremin (film), theremin (novel). Is theremin the new ukelele? The new black? Or is it just out there in the (a)ether(wave), morphically resonating?   Theremin on television All over Twitter this last week was the episode of American Horror Story: Coven titled … Read more…

The year that was – a whole lotta love

At this time of year it is, as we all know, traditional to sum up the best and worst of the year just gone, and/or make plans, resolutions or predictions for the year to come. I’m feeling a bit sandblasted by the thought of doing that (maybe it’s just the Wellington wind). But I’ll give … Read more…

A room of my own (for three weeks) – inaugural RAK Mason Writers Fellowship

A week or so before Christmas, I was delighted to find out that I’ve been awarded the inaugural R.A.K. Mason Writer’s Fellowship. This’ll give me a room to live and write in for three weeks in April 2014. The new fellowship is offered by New Zealand Pacific Studio, Mt Bruce, Wairarapa. The call-out stated “the … Read more…

Underrated and overlooked?

Posting on the excellent Killings blog on the Kill Your Darlings journal website last week, S.A. Jones mused on why great Australian books are being overlooked. Writing in the wake of The Small Press Network’s Most Underrated Book Awards of 2013, Jones considered what it means to be ‘underrated’. She quoted MUBA 2013 nominee Ginger … Read more…

Otago Daily Times reviews The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt

The review by Ian Williams in the Otago Daily Times (Saturday 23 November 2013) of The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt grabbed me — and not in a good way — with its opening sentence: I meant to send this first novel back to the books editor, it seemed so obviously a “woman’s book”. I was poised to get all outraged … Read more…

A might, mighty night – New Zealand launch of The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt

On Saturday 21 September, at Mighty Mighty in Wellington, Dame Fiona Kidman declared “The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt, and your mysterious gorgeous character, well and truly launched”. Here’s a taste of how the evening progressed. You can find more photos online here. The velvet curtain backdrop of the Mighty matched the novel’s cover, displayed … Read more…

Pavlova, Phar Lap, Crowded House and me

Phar Lap. Crown Studios Ltd :Negatives and prints. Ref: 1/2-203509-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22805634 Yesterday, my novel was released. As is the way with these things, though, the book has already been in bookshops for about a week or so (yes, I’ve been looking) , and has had its first few (very nice) reviews (here and here and here). … Read more…

Crossing the ditch: guest review in Perth webzine The Starfish

It’s always bothered me how little known in Australia are even some of the best New Zealand writers. When I was asked to write a trio of mini-reviews for Perth webzine The Starfish, it seemed the perfect opportunity to rave about New Zealand writers; maybe I’d even be introducing them to a Perth audience. So … Read more…