Well it’s Wednesday and I’ve already had a busy writing week. On Sunday, I went to a writer’s meeting, expecting to hear a talk by a local bookseller, and was delighted to find he had been replaced: not because I didn’t want hear him, but because the new guest speaker was children’s author Janice Marriott.
Janice is one of those clever writers who writes everything. Novels, school readers, non-fiction, plays, and TV and radio scripts (she was one of the writers for the award-winning TV programme ‘The WotWots’, produced by Weta Workshops).
It was very inspiring to hear her talk, especially about her belief that writing is something that happens on top of life, and how important it is for writers to have another life, other than writing. This cheered me up, as fitting the time to write into the rest of my life is something I struggle with constantly (as I know do lots of other writers).
It was also very exciting to hear that she thinks her best book is Thor’s Tale (which won the junior fiction category of the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults in 2007), and then to go home and find it on my eldest son’s bookshelf. The story is about an 11-year old boy, Thor, who works on a sub-Antarctic whaling station where he encounters Shackleton and his fellow explorers as they set out to explore Antarctic. I am looking forward to starting it tonight.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of talking (on Skype) to a wonderful group of kids from Dyer Street School in Lower Hutt. They are all part a book club of keen readers that meets once a week to discuss and research books and writers. And they found out about me on the Christchurch Kids Blog!
We had a lovely chat (even though there was an enormous thunder storm going on in the background here) and they asked some great questions, such as: Why do I like poo so much? (oh no!); Who is my favourite author? (a tough one, but in the end I said Margaret Mahy and Kyle Mewburn); and Why hadn’t I written more books? (which made me think I need to get on with it).
Tomorrow, I am off to Golden Yarns, the biennial children’s writers’ and illustrators’ hui in Christchurch. I will be attending workshops with some of New Zealand’s top children’s writers and listening to publishers and booksellers talk about what’s hot and new in New Zealand book publishing.
I’m really looking forward to it, although it means this will be my last post as Star Author. So I wanted to say, thank you very much for having me. I’ve really enjoyed the blog, especially because, as with all writing, it has opened up new paths and ideas for me to ponder and explore.
Happy reading and goodbye for now from Whaingaroa Raglan (in the picture).