Judging a book by its back cover

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be. (Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy) So, 26 days before the manuscript is due. Let’s be frank -I’m sweating bullets. The good news is I’m close. The bad news … Continue reading Judging a book by its back cover

Detours create richer detail

I went to a Rongoa Māori course on Saturday. I learnt a lot, but one of the most valuable things I got was a reminder of things we intuitively know. We just need to be still, watch, listen and all will be revealed. We often find things that we weren’t even looking for. We are … Continue reading Detours create richer detail

Living out loud: juggling life and writing

Earlier this week I sent my five-year-old grandson in Invercargill his winter jacket, it’s a little further south than here, so the seasons arrive a little later, well that is my excuse, I wrote on the attached card. He sent me an email back, ‘Thanks Grandma, but I’m a size seven now.’ In between everyday … Continue reading Living out loud: juggling life and writing

All work and no play…

Oh no – it’s The Shining – I swear… I am sitting in my little office and the door is closed – but I hear children making noises, dogs barking, cars passing by and a party going on next door – with so many little distractions I can’t get a single word out of my … Continue reading All work and no play…

Tracing a writer’s whakapapa

What I think about when I think about writing? I think too much. This came after reading Haruki Murakami’s What I think about when I think about running. He took the title of his book from Raymond Carver’s What we talk about when we talk about love. Which led me to thinking about what influences … Continue reading Tracing a writer’s whakapapa

Mark Sweet wakes the sleeping Zhu Mao

Brian Bargh of Huia left a message. He asked I return his call. 'It's good news,' he said. I went all goose pimply, and great gulps of excitement came tinged with fear. I began writing Zhu Mao three years ago at the start of the Diploma of Creative Writing course at Whitireia Polytechnic. When I applied I submitted a short story, one of many, inter-connected, which I wanted to shape into a novel.