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Phantom of Terawhiti by Des Hunt

It’s the school holidays and Zac thinks he might go crazy with boredom. He’s living in exile with his disgraced father on the remote Terawhiti Station on Wellington’s wild southwest coast. Then Zac and his dad witness a boat sink during a storm. Investigating further, Zac finds a set of unusual animal prints on the […]

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Steel Pelicans by Des Hunt

Back in November 2010, Des Hunt told us about a new story that he was working on, which he thought would be called Steel Pelicans.  He told us all about the characters, the setting and a little bit about the plot, but he didn’t know whether it was going to get published.  I’ve loved all […]

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Steel Pelicans Update from Des Hunt

Steel Pelicans goes on sale 3 February 2012. In November 2010 I wrote about the story which at that time was in it’s very early stages. Here’s what has happened since. I started writing Steel Pelicans on 18 October 2010 and finished the first draft on 4 March 2011. That’s almost five months, which is a […]

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The Peco Incident by Des Hunt

Take two cousins Danny and Nick, eco tourists Brio and Roost, Harriet the Parriet, Albatross and Penguins colonies and what do you have?  The latest page turner by Des Hunt – The Peco Incident. Danny lives on the Otago Peninsula and is dreading his cousin Nick coming to stay.  He’s ok if he takes his […]

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Frog Whistle Mine by Des Hunt

Frog Whistle Mine is Des Hunt’s fourth novel and the first book about Tony’s adventures. Tony and his mum move to Charleston, where there are abandoned mines to explore and friends to make. It seems Charleston might just be the place for them. Below the quiet, deserted surface of the town, however, is a shadowy […]

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Des Hunt – Last post

It’s now time to start writing. Beginning a story requires a lot of thought. In the first few chapters there is so much information that the reader needs in order to make sense of what is happening. The difficulty is giving that information without making it boring. Here are the first four paragraphs of Steel Pelicans. “As […]

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Questions for Des Hunt

I’m a huge fan of Des Hunt’s and I was very excited to have him as one of our Star Authors.  I’ve loved reading his posts about creating a setting, characters and plot and we hope that you all have too.  I’ve read most of Des Hunt’s books so I had a few questions that […]

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Des Hunt 5th Blog: The Storyline

By the time I’ve got the characters sorted, it’s time to give serious thought to the storyline. I start at the end. Now this might sound a little crazy, but I like to know how my stories will finish before I start. To me writing is like a journey: you start from where you presently […]

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Des Hunt’s fourth blog – Characters (Pt. 2)

I use a grid to work out my characters. Here it is for the main character: Name Pete Kelly Other names Pelly Age 13 Defining Detail/Event Moving from Oz to NZ Has to endure Taunts. Use the Pelly Can line. Ginga is used in NZ before Pelly becomes a derogatory name. Appearance/Clothing Red headed, which can lead to […]

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Des Hunt fourth blog – Characters (Pt. 1)

In this instalment I’ll talk about the characters for my chemistry-themed story called Steel Pelicans. In my earlier blogs I told about visits to Wollongong and Port Waikato to sort out locations for the story and to get ideas for the plot. Now I have to finalize ideas about who is going to have these adventures. Before I started, I knew […]

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Port Waikato – third post from Des Hunt

Adventure stories need places where adventures are likely to happen. I suppose they could happen in the middle of a city, but I like to choose places where there are fewer people. Fortunately there are plenty of those in New Zealand. The third step in planning my new story Steel Pelicans was to find a location where […]

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Naughty Kids Book of Nature by Des Hunt

Des Hunt mentioned in his last post that he likes to look at roadkill because it “provides that opportunity to take a close look at animals.”  Des also shares his fascination with roadkill in his new book The Naughty Kids Book of Nature.  As the title suggests, this is a book about Nature for naughty kids […]

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Wollongong – second post from Des Hunt

Whenever I visit a place to research locations, I look for road kill for it gives a good idea of the sorts of animals that are common. The road kill in Australia (OZ) is a lot bigger than what you’ll find in NZ. Wallabies and kangaroos are to be expected, and you’ll see their remains […]

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Check out our November Star Author – Des Hunt

We have a Star Author joining us on the Christchurch Kids blog each month during the school year.  Our Star Author will blog about their books, give writing tips, answer your questions and talk about things that interest them. Each month we will also have a Star Author competition.  You will have to post an […]

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First post from Des Hunt – The start of a new novel

I’m thrilled to be selected as the November 2010 Star Author. Over the next month I’ll keep you posted about a new book I’m working on. I’ll take you through the research and planning stages and onto the first few chapters of writing. In a month I should be able to get about 10 of the 30 chapters […]

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The Seekers The Quest Begins by Erin Hunter

This is the story of three young bears, struggling to survive in the wild as they follow the Pathway Star, hoping that it will lead them to a safe home. Kallik is a young polar bear, who is separated from her mother and brother as the ice begins to melt. Toklo is a brown grizzly […]

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Writing Tip of the Week – Erin Hunter

This week’s writing tip comes from Erin Hunter, creator of the Warriors and Seekers series. “Make sure you read a variety of stories: fantasy stories teach you about making up completely new worlds, crime-solving stories teach you about handling a complicated plot, stories with lots of characters teach you how to describe relationships.  Also, write as […]

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Author Blog 2 – David Hill

I’m one of those authors who likes to try different types of writing, and I’ve been spending part of this week writing a long (1750 word) book review of some YA novels. They’re all by New Zealanders, and the are all GOOD. So do try David Hair’s Ghost’s of Parihaka, a funny and frightening story […]

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Book Launch!

What a busy weekend I had with lots of ‘writerly’ activities going on. On Friday evening I was thrilled to attend the Oceanbooks New Zealand Book Month event, Celebrate!, which included the launch of Beyond This Age, a collection of speculative fiction written by intermediate school students, edited by ME and my colleague Piper Mejia […]

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Fast Five with Nikki Slade-Robinson

Why did you want to be a writer? Why not!  I think if the ideas are there, and the characters are demanding to be let out, you don’t get much choice really.  Writing and illustrating was always my dream.  And luckily my parents let me have plenty of paper so I didn’t have to draw […]

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