Award Season

August 13, 2017

An excerpt from my now renamed Novel "The eldest girl..." was accepted as a finalist in the Pikihuia Short Story Competition.  It's original name of the Novel was "Till we Kissed" which was the 1967 hit song by Ray Columbus and the Invaders.  There is a long story that goes along with this.
When I wrote "Till we Kissed" I was studying for an Advanced Grad Dip Creative Writing at Whitireia NZ.  It was the second year, and what you are supposed to do was write a Novel in the first year and edit it for presentation to a publisher in the second.  At the end of my first year I wrote a Novel and I sent it too Huia and they gave me a Mentor to help me work on the Novel.  So I wrote another Novel inspired by Ngati Poneke Maori Club which my grandparents were founding Members, Ten pound Poms coming to New Zealand in the 50's and 60' and Maori Immigration to from the country to the city.  
To inspire me I listened to 60's New Zealand  music.  My absolute favourite was Ray Columbus and the Invaders "Till we kissed".  I listened to it on loop for a year.  It is the perfect song. It was the first New Zealand song to be a hit 'TWICE' 
I was lucky enought to be messaged by Ray Columbus when he heard that I wanted to call my book after his song.  He told me about rewriting the arrangement.  The song was actually orginally called "Where Have You Been All My Life", written by husband and wife writing team Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and released by Arthur Alexander in 1961.  
It was an honour to be contacted by a New Zealand Music legend, who was himself an immigrant to New Zealand.  Even though Song Titles like Book Titles can't be copywrited.  'Till we kissed' is so well known it is really a trade mark and associated with Ray Columbus.  
I remembered this after my I realised I hadn't changed the title of the excerpt I entered into Pikihuia.  I called and we had a panicked 4 hours as every other title I came up with turned out to be another song title.  Finally I thought about the story I was telling and the responsibilities trust on someone just because of the order they were born in.  Thus, 'The eldest girl'...



Amazing Mandy

August 11, 2017

Yes I know that I am completely unaware it was a selfie moment - 
I am that guy.  From left.  Nina, Alia, oblivious me, Scotty and Jenna-Rose

A couple of months ago we got all snazzied up for the Paraparaumu Launch (yes I know she is ultra important and gets more than one Launch) of her latest Novel "Heloise" 

Yeah, she really is my friend, I didn't just grab her!

It was a great launch, with the amazing "Renee" as the keynote speaker and Mandy giving us a reading that made everything a tingle the...

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