Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Riddle of the Rifleman

Wellington writer John McCrystal, entrepreneur and adventurer Bill Day (above - photo Unlimited) and maritime artefacts conservator Jack Fry spoke to a group of maritime heritage enthusiasts on Tuesday night, in the process of launching ‘The Riddle of the Rifleman’, a report published by the Maritime Archaeologists’ Association of New Zealand (MAANZ). 

In 1986, Bill Day was a member of an expedition searching for the fabled gold ship, the General Grant, on the west coast of Auckland Island. The divers located a shipwreck in a site that roughly matched the presumed location of the General Grant, and another expedition that Day led in 1996 performed a comprehensive salvage of the site. As they worked, it became clear that this was a smaller, previously unknown vessel. 

John McCrystal heard Bill telling this story on a visit to the Auckland Islands in 2008, and his curiosity was piqued. Lavishly illustrated with images supplied by leading photographer Mike ‘Wilco’ Wilkinson, ‘The Riddle of the Rifleman’ presents an account of the salvage, the conservation of the artefacts raised and McCrystal’s four-year search through documentary sources for clues to the ship’s identity. 

The report is available from MAANZ for $25: for a copy, contact  Malcolm McGregor, MAANZ secretary, on

Don Donovan's World

Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author - 30 May 2012

Great Works Re-Visited 6.


10 Risqué Books Worth Buying a Kindle to Read

by .  Tuesday May 29, 2012 - Flavorpill

Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys, Edited by David Henry Sterry and R.J. Martin, Jr.
Although society views sex workers as fringe, something “other” and extremely far away, prostitution is a billion dollar industry, and pervades every country and every social class. Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys is a collection of vignettes, poems, rants, confessions, and journalism written by former or current sex workers. The book runs the full gamut of the industry, from the $10 prostitute to the elite escort, from sexual freedom to sexual shame. This book is an intriguing panorama of the world’s oldest profession in all its iterations — be it phone sex, stripping, or “massage” parlors. The tone ranges from laugh-out-loud to dark and depressing. A  fascinating read.
Read the rest at Flavorpill

Stephen King: ‘We’re Going to Hold Off on e-Publishing This One’

By Jason Boog on Galley Cat, May 30, 2012 

Stephen King will release a new novel with the pulp fiction publisher, Hard Case Crime. Publication is set for June 2013, and there will be no eBook edition initially.
King explained in a statement: “I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts. That combo made Hard Case Crime the perfect venue for this book, which is one of my favorites. I also loved the paperbacks I grew up with as a kid, and for that reason, we’re going to hold off on e-publishing this one for the time being. Joyland will be coming out in paperback, and folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book.”
The mystery will include a cover art from James Bond poster artist Robert McGinnis and Hard Case Crime cover artist Glen Orbik.
Here’s more about the book, from the release: “Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, JOYLAND tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever.” (Picture via)

Madeline Miller wins 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction

19.15pm, London, 30 May 2012 – American author Madeline Miller has won the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction with her debut novel The Song of Achilles (Bloomsbury). 

2012 marks the seventeenth year of the Orange Prize, which celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world.  

At an awards ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London - hosted by Orange Prize for Fiction Co-Founder and Honorary Director, Kate Mosse - the 2012 Chair of Judges, Joanna Trollope, presented the author with the £30,000 prize and the ‘Bessie’, a limited edition bronze figurine.  Both are anonymously endowed.

Joanna Trollope, Chair of Judges, said: “This is a more than worthy winner – original, passionate, inventive and uplifting.  Homer would be proud of her.”

The Orange Prize for Fiction was set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote fiction written by women throughout the world to the widest range of readers possible. The Orange Prize is awarded to the best novel of the year written in English by a woman.

The judges for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction are:

Joanna Trollope, (Chair), Writer

Lisa Appignanesi, Writer, Novelist and Broadcaster

Victoria Derbyshire, Journalist and Broadcaster

Natalie Haynes, Writer and Broadcaster

Natasha Kaplinsky, Broadcaster

Stuart Jackson, Communications Director at Orange, said: “This year’s shortlist was wonderfully varied and international but even from such an exceptional shortlist, there can only be one winner – many congratulations to Madeline Miller.”

Madeline Miller
Madeline Miller was born in Boston, MA, and grew up in both New York City and Philadelphia. She attended Brown University, where she graduated magna cum laude with a BA and MA in Classics. She has also studied at the Yale School of Drama specialising in adapting classical tales to a modern audience.  Since graduation she has taught Latin, Greek and Shakespeare, both at her high school, The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA, and elsewhere. Madeline began writing fiction when she was in high school, and has been working on The Song of Achilles, her first novel, for the last ten years. She currently lives in New England, where she teaches Latin and writes.

The Song of Achilles
Greece in the age of Heroes.  Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to Phthia to live in the shadow of King Peleus and his strong, beautiful son, Achilles.  By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something far deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’s mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess.  But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped.  Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

Previous winners of the Orange Prize are Téa Obreht for The Tiger’s Wife (2011), Barbara Kingsolver for The Lacuna (2010), Marilynne Robinson for Home (2009),  Rose Tremain for The Road Home (2008), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Half of a Yellow Sun (2007),  Zadie Smith for On Beauty (2006),  Lionel Shriver for We Need to Talk About Kevin (2005), Andrea Levy for Small Island (2004), Valerie Martin for Property (2003), Ann Patchett for Bel Canto (2002), Kate Grenville for The Idea of Perfection (2001), Linda Grant for When I Lived in Modern Times (2000), Suzanne Berne for A Crime in the Neighbourhood (1999), Carol Shields for Larry’s Party (1998), Anne Michaels for Fugitive Pieces (1997), and Helen Dunmore for A Spell of Winter (1996).

The awards took place in The Clore Ballroom of the Royal Festival Hall, central London and guests toasted the announcement of the winner at a champagne drinks reception courtesy of Taittinger.  In addition to the Orange Prize for Fiction winner announcement, aspiring novelist Jennifer Cullen was named as the winner of the Orange/Grazia First Chapter Competition for unpublished writers. 

2012 NATIONAL FLASH FICTION DAY COMPETITION -- One more day to submit!

The inaugural National Flash Fiction Day competition is open until midnight tomorrow, 1 June 2012.

Writers may enter up to 3 stories of 300 words each, excluding the title. Send your submissions electronically:  Competition details at the website.

Mark your calendars for 22 June. Prizegiving in Auckland and other events around Aotearoa. See the NFFD website for details.

National Flash Fiction Day 2012.
Because life is short. And so is some of the best fiction.

Tina Grenville: A Life in Three Acts

‘Kristine has an excellent character with a bright attractive personality. She has decided dramatic ability and a gift of interpretation which will serve her well in the career she has chosen. I am confident of her ability to achieve success.’ Testimonial, Miss Clark, Wellington Girls’ College

Tina Grenville began life as Kristine DeLacy. Born into privilege but out of wedlock, she weighed just 2 pounds (900 grams) of heavily subsidised butter at birth. Her prematurity meant that she struggled with poor health in early childhood and didn’t start school until she was nearly seven years old.

Described by her mother as ‘very self-conscious, nervous and highly strung’, it wasn’t a very promising start for the little girl who longed to be an actress. But adversity can foster courage and determination, and Tina Grenville had both, in spades. She also had grit. Just as well, for she was going to need all the fortitude she could muster throughout her life, as she rode the proverbial rollercoaster and endured the best and worst of times.

Tina Grenville was thrust into the limelight at the tender age of 19 with a young baby in tow, when her charismatic and dashing former husband disappeared in mysterious circumstances from a Wellington wharf one morning. Rumoured to have drowned while trying to swim across the harbour, to win a bet after partying hard all night, it was a huge news story. Sitting in the Wellington Coroner’s Court, Tina had to suffer the humiliation of hearing the police read out a long list of her husband’s misdemeanours.

Widowed before she was 20, but blessed with exceptionally good looks and a steely determination, Tina Grenville rose above the gossipy, insinuation-fuelled headlines to forge a hugely successful modelling and acting career. Audacious and fun, Tina Grenville cut a dash in New Zealand society, and once, back in the 1970s, famously took off her trousers – ladies weren’t supposed to wear trousers in those days – and calmly walked into the dining room at DeBretts.

Tina Grenville won Model of the Year in 1964 and went on to become one of the most recognisable faces on New Zealand and Australian television. Along with son Ashley, she appeared on Channel Nine’s Logie award-winning series, The Godfathers and sequel The People Next Door, during her 14-year stint in Australia. Returning to New Zealand in 1980, she hosted Good Morning for Northern Television and worked for Wellington’s Downstage Theatre. She also appeared on Gloss, Homeward Bound and as a panellist on Selwyn Toogood’s iconic, Beauty and the Beast show.

But while Tina’s career went from strength to strength, her personal life was plagued by gossip and controversy. Family life was tempestuous and now, with three children to look after, not to mention husbands – past and present – making constant demands on her time, energy and resources, it wasn’t long before the ‘black dog’ barked at her door. Yet despite the upheavals, the emotional and financial uncertainty, Tina never gave up and not only survived, but thrived.

In mid-life, while still continuing with her acting career, Tina Grenville became a successful businesswoman. Having cut her teeth with Madam Louise Charlton of Le Normandie restaurant in Wellington – where she mastered the (basic) art of French cooking – Tina started up a private supper club, Dining by Arrangement. She ran her business out of her late nineteenth-century villa, in the wilds of Karekare, and it was a huge hit. Later, she oversaw the building of a mud brick cottage in nearby Piha, which set the stage for her second business, The Beautiful Bed & Breakfast Co. This won the 1998 BNZ Business Award for Best Accommodation out West and was later featured on high-rating television programme, Location, Location, Location

Tina Grenville: A Life in Three Acts is an inspiring, entertaining and tender memoir; one that proves the adage, ‘it ain’t over until the fat lady sings’; in the case of Tina, the fat lady was a long coming and if life was a performance, then she hadn’t yet reached the last act.

Tina Grenville was educated at Wellington Girls’ College. After leaving school with University Entrance and the school’s cup for drama, she gained her Royal Academy letters to teach classical ballet and her Trinity College qualifications to teach speech and drama. She started work as a radio actress and went on to become a household name in New Zealand and Australia, as a photographic and runway model, and actor.

Tina now lives in Piha with her husband, Tom Cagwin. Her most recent work was playing Tim Finn’s mother in the 2010 film Predicament, for which she gained a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the AFTAs (Aotearoa Film and Television Awards).

Tina Grenville: A Life in Three Acts by Tina Grenville
Trade Paperback - 320 pages plus 16-page colour picture insert
NZ RRP $39.99 - Harper Collins

Michele Hewitson interview with Tina Grenville - if you missed this colourful and playful interview in the NZ Herald last week then do link here and have a read.
Left - Tina Grenville - Photo - Brett Phibbs

Boutique publisher RSVP lives up to its name

 PANZ - writes of one of its own:

RSVP Publishing Company is an imprint launched by Stephen Picard in 1990, initially to publish his own first novel. They now have a very diverse catalogue of 20 titles, and the company follows the principle of some US publishers in keeping every book they publish in print.
It is also a point of honour with Stephen (pictured right) to live up to the company’s name: RSVP receives about 100 unsolicited manuscripts a year and the company responds to each one personally.
He is also adamant about keeping RSVP’s book production and printing onshore. Pre-production is in-house, and the titles are put out to tender among local printers. For a small publishing house, it is also a plus that smaller print runs of say 500 are currently economical.
Setting up RSVP was a lifestyle choice, as the former press officer and journalist had ‘had enough of working for other people’. Stephen lives on Waiheke Island but also has a small city office. One of RSVP’s books Waiheke Island is written and photographed by him: the Christchurch Press said “Picard – an island resident and former journalist – has done a fine book, with his own and historical photographs about island life. You get not just pretty pictures (plenty of those) but a real feel for what island life must be like.”
In many ways, the Waiheke title is the most mainstream on RSVP’s list. A publisher that uses the words eclectic and metaphysical to describe their list has to be putting out some unusual titles and RSVP doesn’t disappoint. What’s more, Stephen is taking them to Frankfurt this year.
Crystal Mission, Trail of the Hawk and Search for the Feathered Serpent are all titles by Dr Cornelius van Dorp. The firstleads the New Zealand doctor into fantastic territory – the discovery of a planetary electro-magnetic grid, and its connection with ancient foundation points like the Great Pyramid of Giza, a crystal mountain in Arizona, and secret sites in Tibet and New Zealand. Trail of the Hawk recounts contact with Native American Indian tribes, and Search for the Feathered Serpentfocuses – via a mystical stone-trail to Mexico and its ancient peoples, from whom the timing of the Harmonic Convergence came – on a search for Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent.
In contrast the balance of the list includes two children’s picture books; novels by Picard, Florence Kiss, Carl Hoffman, Julia Sutherland and Carolyn Young; Pearls, the conversations of a pre-teen with her elderly neighbour, Yoga of Heart, Self Healing and Phoenician Myths.
A title that has sold internationally is the well reviewed Like a Fish in Water – Yoga for Children Aged Five Years and Up by Isabelle Koch.
Add in books with Maori Tarot cards, travel advice, an ethical approach to sustainability, bio-tech time bombs and the best seller of the range, Picard’s own book Waiheke Island… eclectic is definitely the encompassing word. In addition, e-book versions of two titles in the catalogue are almost ready for release.
Stephen sees the reluctance of Whitcoulls to take two recent titles as a step backwards for small Kiwi publishers. “At one time, Whitcoulls would take at least five of a title. Then when the title was sold, replacements would be ordered.
“I was stunned when they didn’t pick up our last two books. One was a Maori title, Vision of Maui by Joyce Paraone Hemara, about an ancient system of divination for prophesy used by the Maori seers and prophets, modernized into a Tarot for use today.”
To counter this, RSVP’s new website went online in November last, offering direct-to-customer sales. “We needed to take a little more control of this as our traditional sales channels, bookshops, were becoming increasingly challenging,” says Stephen. “It is working well and enabled us to connect directly with our customers.”
The new website followed Stephen’s partnership with businessman Chris Palmer who now handles sales and marketing for the imprint, though for both their work is part time.
Stephen has represented RSVP Publishing at the London Book Fair and has been to Frankfurt three times. “The first time I found an overseas distributor, the second I sold foreign rights to a book, but the third time I drew a blank.” He is hoping for a fourth time lucky in our Frankfurt Guest of Honour year, and has a shelf for RSVP on the New Zealand stand and a new title to release at the fair.

Story from PANZ Newsletter

Pan Macmillan’s Momentum Books in Australia to go DRM-free


From the press release:

MOMENTUM BOOKS, Pan Macmillan Australia’s digital-only imprint, today announced that by early August all its titles would be released without DRM. DRM – digital rights management – is the software used on digital content to prevent casual copying by users.
‘The problem,’ said Joel Naoum, Momentum’s publisher, ‘is that DRM restricts users from legitimate copying – such as between different e-reading devices. We feel strongly that Momentum’s goal is to make books as accessible as possible. Dropping these restrictions is in line with that goal.’
The move by Momentum follows recent announcements by sister company Tor in the United States and the United Kingdom. Momentum is the first imprint of a major Australian publisher to drop DRM.
Momentum’s director, Tom Gilliatt, comments, ‘Momentum was set up to innovate and experiment. The decision to drop DRM is absolutely in keeping with this role, and shows once again Macmillan’s global commitment to be at the forefront of digital change and development.’
John Birmingham, who will be publishing a series of novellas with Momentum in late 2012 said, ‘Every book I’ve ever published in electronic format has been pirated. Every single one. And they all had DRM. It didn’t protect me from piracy and it won’t protect publishing in general. The best protection is to make your work as easily accessible as possible, everywhere, all at once, at the same, reasonable price. Is it possible? Nobody really knows, but we’re gonna give it a hell of a shake to find out.’
Nathan Farrugia, whose bestselling novel The Chimera Vector was released by Momentum in May, said, ‘One of the main reasons I signed with Momentum was their willingness to ditch DRM – something that very few other publishers would do. But I think if pirates are better at distributing your ebooks than you are, then you’re doing it wrong. The best way for publishers to fight piracy is with convenience. I’m excited to see Momentum HULK SMASH DRM.’

About MomentumLaunched in February, Momentum is the digital-only imprint of Pan Macmillan Australia. Momentum have now published over forty titles, including Mark Brandon ‘Chopper’ Read’s series of memoirs, Greig Beck’s fantasy horror Valkeryn and Lindy Chamberlain’s autobiography, The Dingo’s Got My Baby. All published titles are available globally and at highly accessible prices. Find out more

Via Teleread - May 29, 2012

Vintage to sponsor Bookshop Band tour

30.05.12 | Charlotte Williams - The Bookseller

Vintage Books is sponsoring a tour of The Bookshop Band round UK indie bookshops and literary festivals in association with Independent Bookseller's Week.
Beth Porter, Poppy Pitt and Ben Please formed the band in late 2010 in collaboration with Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath, with the band writing and performing songs at the start of each author event at the shop. So far, the band has written 49 songs inspired by 29 books.
The tour will take in 25 stops at independent bookshops and festivals, starting on 6th June and coinciding with Independent Booksellers Week, which runs from 20th June to 7th July.
Random House key account manager for independent bookshops Kate Gunning said: "Vintage Books is delighted to be sponsoring the inaugural tour of The Bookshop Band, and to be associated with such a terrific venture, with songs inspired by Vintage titles such as The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal, Caroline: A Mystery by Cornelius Medvei, and Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov."
Mr B's manager Nic Bottomley said: "The Bookshop Band is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things we've ever been involved with . . . Customers love them, authors love them, publicists love them, and the reason it works is because the songs are so damn good."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Food from the Heart - wonderful fundraiser

food from the heart

THE COOK BOOK THAT CARES is a community collaboration fundraiser made with love by the team at Walker Books Australia, their families and their wider circle of friends. Cancer affects so many. Your support will raise vital funds for cancer research, prevention and support services. The recipes reflect many different cultures from our workplace and community and make for very interesting and delicious meals.

Walker Books hope their shared recipes will be a handy addition to your kitchen, and that you’ll enjoy some of their favourite meals. Many of these recipes have never before been published, and are the (previously secret) loving inventions of their creative staff and their families
and friends.

Thank you all for your support from all of those at Walker Books. This book is for the many people whose lives have been changed by cancer – to those who have survived, suffered or have lost loved ones.


Walker Books have about a hundred copies left if you wish to buy a copy. The book is AUD$15 + $5 P&H, individuals can purchase it by going here: donate $20 and then email their address to – we will send it straight out!

I bought a copy and have already marked eight recipes I am going to try including the following from Mal Peet's partner Elspeth.  Mal and Elspeth were recently in both Auckland and Sydney for the Writers Festivals. I had a pleasant chat to them in Auckland.

Great for lunch or dinner, and good with a simple green salad.

5 tablespoons olive oil
herbs, finely chopped (a handful of rosemary, chives, basil, flat leaf parsley,
or any other herbs you have)
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped or crushed
salt and pepper
shortcrust pastry
8 medium tomatoes
1 wheel of camembert cheese

• Put the oil, herbs, garlic and a little salt and pepper into a jar or bowl and leave
for a while to infuse. Add extra oil if needed.
• Line a 22 cm tar t tin with short crust pastry.
• Slice the tomatoes and set them to one side .
• Next divide the camembert into quarters.
• Slice each quarter into about 8 or 10 w edge-shaped slices.
• Assemble the tart by arranging alternate overlapping slices of cheese and tomato on
top of the pastry.
• Spoon and brush the herby oil over the top of the tart – keep just a little to brush onto
the tart when it comes out of the oven.
• Bake in a medium oven for about 30 to 40 minutes.
• Cool and then turn out.

Elspeth Graham

Jarvis Cocker reads from The Hueys - video

Listen to Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker reading from Oliver Jeffers's new picture book, The Hueys in the New Jumper, about how being different is catching, then download your very own Huey to customise. Send in your Hueys and we'll feature them in a special gallery. 

Mobile site users - please visit the desktop site to watch the video.
Download your own Huey, customise him or her with a jumper or other accessories and send him or her back in to appear in our Huey gallery!
Want more Oliver Jeffers? Let him teach you how to draw a penguin.

Libraries Grapple With The Downside Of E-Books

by Ben Bradford - May 29, 2012 - NPR

May 29, 2012from WNYC

Digital books are the fastest growing area of publishing. Libraries are seeing a surge in demand for e-book titles as well, but there's a downside. Most major publishers won't allow libraries to lend their titles, while others impose restrictions or charge double or triple the print price.

Read or listen to story here.

News from Publishing Perspectives:

E-books represent just 0.25% of the Russian book market and growth has been hampered by piracy, legal issues, and reticence, still consumer demand is growing. Read more »

Statistics suggest that even as print reading is in decline, the internet and e-books have increased our consumption of the written word. 
Upstart UK e-bookseller and library Bilbary is open access, international and strives to offer a genuine alternative. Innovative? No. Just great bookselling. 

With the limited number of e-book available for loan, selling e-books is an opportunity libraries could capitalize on, especially considering the economy. 

Five years on Brittany's Etonnants Voyageurs, has joined the World Alliance partnership of literary festivals, and is promoting translation and rights sales. 

Author's son seeks Malcolm X letter at Syracuse

By: Michael Hill, Associated Press 

ALBANY (AP).- The son of Malcolm X's biographer is asking Syracuse University to hand over a letter in which the slain activist writes about his shifting views on race relations, claiming his family is the rightful owner. Malcolm X wrote to Alex Haley, his collaborator for "The Autobiography of Malcolm X," from Saudi Arabia in April 1964, about ten months before he was gunned down at a New York City hotel ballroom. The publisher of the autobiography later gave the letter to Syracuse University as part of a larger cache of papers to be used by researchers. But Haley's son, William Haley, said the publisher never had legal title to the letter and could not give it away. His lawyer said Tuesday he plans to make a legal demand this week for the letter, ...
Photo above  shows Malcolm X at London Airport.

Book Signing with author Andrew Fagan

Book Signing with Author Andrew Fagan

Where: Voyager NZ Maritime Museum, Quay Street, Auckland
When: Saturday 9 June 1:00pm

Please note - Swirly World will also be moored at the Museum for viewing from 7 to 10 June.

For more information on this event please visit:

About the book, and author, and photos of the journey link below.

Don Donovan's World

Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author - 29 May 2012

Great Works Re-Visited 5.


Ann Patchett on new chapter for independent bookstores

29 May 2012 -  BBC News
Best-selling author and store owner Ann Patchett talks about the fate of independent bookstores and why a revival seems more possible these days than ever before.
For many years, independent bookstores were on the list of endangered species when national retail chains and internet commerce began to chip away at their consumer base. It left a city like Nashville, Tennessee (population 626,000) without a proper bookstore.
The BBC's Franz Strasser paid a visit to Ms Patchett's new Parnassus bookstore and spoke to customers as well as authors Myra McEntire (Hourglass) and Amy Plum (Until I Die).

Link here to BBC to listen to Ann Patchett  (note it takes a few seconds for the video link to start).

Most statistics in the video are courtesy of Al Greco, Fordham University.

The Good Word - a sad goodbye

With the upcoming closing down of TVNZ7 there is, sadly, no future for the tv book programme The Good Word so the set is being sold. If I had a barn I would buy it !

Wall Panels From The Set of The Good Word

sealed MDF kitset single set flats, Indian ink, charcoal, various paints and graphite pencil mediums.
The set is constructed in sections, the dimensions are: Wall A - two panels, each 3000mm x 2000mm (overall 3000mm x 4000mm) Wall B - four panels each 3000mm x 2000mm (overall 3000mm x 8000mm). Note: The first panel is without book shelf; the second panel has cut out window; the picture of the park is not included; the third and fourth panels do not include the spiral book shelf. Wall C - two panels 3000mm x 2400mm (overall 3000mm x 4800mm)



The set for the television literary series, The Good Word was designed as an art piece, mixing graffiti with images, plus the autographs of the many guests who have appeared on the show over its four series on TVNZ 7. The sealed MDF kitset single set flats were created by artist Virginia Leonard using Indian ink, charcoal, various paints and graphite pencil mediums.

Many famous guests have appeared on The Good Word, interviewed by host Emily Perkins about their all-time favourite books. Each one of those guests has autographed The Good Word set.

A full list of autographs:
Kapka Kassabova, Don McGlashan, Steve Braunias, Marti Friedlander, Roger Shepherd, Chris Knox, Mark Sainsbury, Judy Darragh, John Reynolds, Dame Fiona Kidman, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Bill Hastings, Anna Coddington, Kate de Goldi, Lawrence Arabia, Bruce Ansley, Dave Dobbyn, Alison Holst, Tim Wilson, Rachael King, Lisa Tamati, Hamish Keith, Lynda Hallinan, Shayne Carter, Dick Frizzell, Dylan Horrocks, Peta Mathias, John Campbell, Sophia Burn, James Griffin, Cameron Slater, Lucy Green, Jacinda Ardern, Oscar Kightley, Shaun Quincey, Michael Houlihan, Coco Solid, Sue Bradford, Ray McVinnie, Dave Cull, Kathryn Ryan, Graham Beattie, Robyn Malcolm, Simon Wilson, Jacquelene Fahey, Jane Ussher, Julia Deans, Michael Hurst, Sarah Daniell, Kevin Milne, Jim Mora, Jon Toogood, Grant Robertson, Dame Jenny Gibbs, Ant Timpson, Sam Hunt, Emily Perkins (host).

The panels are stored in Grey Lynn, Auckland, and can be viewed by appointment.  

If interested, contact:

3rd Party Productions
28a Ponsonby Rd   
PO Box 68 613 Newton 1145 
Auckland NZ
Wk +64 9 361 2199 

Hamish Clayton interview - Guy Somerset interviews the winner of this year's Best First Book Award for Fiction.

Guy SomersetBy Guy Somerset| Published on May 30, 2012 | Online Only

Hamish Clayton was announced today as winner of the New Zealand Post Book Awards’ Best First Book Award for Fiction for his debut novel, Wulf. Judges’ convenor Chris Bourke described the novel as “a work of bravura lyricism” and “a brilliant feat of imagining”. In it, Clayton echoes the enigmatic Anglo-Saxon poem Wulf and Eadwacer as he unravels the layers of storytelling that give rise to the historical “record” when English sailors aboard real-life 19th-century trading ship Elizabeth anchor off Kapiti Island and come into the orbit of Maori chief Te Rauparaha.

Are you a self-confident writer? The novel certainly wasn’t a safe debut in terms of the risks it took. Were you relieved when you got first the reviewers’ and readers’ reception and then does an award like this shore you up further, or are you a writer who doesn’t really care about that because you’re confident in yourself? The thing was, I thought I had this good idea for a novel and I thought it had legs, and it seemed like if it could have been written properly it would have been the kind of thing that appealed to me, and so I was just writing it for that, really. I had a good friend of mine who was reading the drafts and so on and giving me good feedback. Once it was finished, we showed it to a couple of my colleagues in the English programme here [at Victoria University of Wellington] and they approved of it and enjoyed it. And then Penguin liked it as well. So the circles started getting wider and wider and wider and further and further away from me. Initially, it was just something for me and then to show to one or two people whose opinions I trust and admire. After that, it’s taken on a life of its own, I suppose. It’s tremendous getting an award like this but I wouldn’t have picked this [to happen]. It might be categorised as a difficult novel.
What came first, the chicken or the egg: the poem or Te Rauparaha? What was the first thing you wanted to write and then how did they come together? It was actually my friend Kirsten Reid, who was the person I just mentioned as being the first reader. She had this natural interest in it because she was the first person who said to me years and years ago, “Do you know this poem Wulf and Eadwacer?”, and I didn’t. She showed me the Bill Manhire version of it. With the very offhand comment that she reckoned it would be interesting subject matter for a novel one day. It would have been years later – I don’t know where ideas come from – but I just had this idea that there was something about the mystery and the enigma at the heart of the poem that somehow spoke to the enigma when we regard 19th-century history, and just these faint evocations of Te Rauparaha’s history being sort of resonant somehow in the poem, and that was the first idea, really.
Was the novel always going to be from the perspective of the English sailors or the English? I had the idea about seven months before I started writing it and I didn’t know the way into the novel until I just heard this voice, and those first couple of pages, they just felt like I was just listening in to a voice that was saying those things. I dived into the deep end. When I started writing it, I didn’t know whose perspective I was writing it from, it was just I had this very compelling voice, I thought, and so I just followed it. I was some chapters through before I realised exactly what aspect of Te Rauparaha’s history it was going to be and all the characters slowly revealed themselves to me. I wanted to preserve that in the actual structure of the novel, so it does have that very amorphous opening.
The full interview at The Listener.

The Book We're Talking About This Week


"Canada" by Richard Ford
US publisher Ecco, $27.99  UK/NZ/Aust publisher - Bloomsbury
Published on May 15, 2012

What is it about?
The lives of a fifteen-year-old protagonist Dell and his twin sister Berner are forever changed when their typically law-obliging parents are arrested for robbing a bank. Berner flees, and Dell finds himself in Canada, where he attempts to recreate himself in a vast prairie.

Why are we talking about it?
We're fans of Richard Ford and the gruff, lyrical nature of his work. While we appreciate new approaches to fiction, it's refreshing to revisit realism.

Who wrote it?
Richard Ford is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Sportswriter" and "Independence Day." He has mild dyslexia, but says this has assisted him as a book-lover because he is able to read slowly and thoughtfully. This is his first novel in six years.

Who will read it?
Fans of stories concerning the lower-middle class, fans of lean language, those looking to read seasoned writers.

What do the reviewers say?

Click here to read the rest of our look at 'Canada'

Michelle Obama Releases Gardening Book

By Dianna Dilworth on Galley Cat, May 29, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama published her book about gardening with Crown today. In American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America, Obama recounts how she first got into gardening.
Obama’s gardening efforts have been part of her agenda to encourage healthy eating and fight childhood obesity. The book is timed perfectly for summer gardening season, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s an election year
The Associated Press has more: “The $30 book… traces how a city kid from the South Side of Chicago who became a working mother and then a political spouse found herself fretting on that first planting day, March 20, 2009, about whether an L-shaped stretch of soil would prove fertile ground for a national conversation ‘about the food we eat, the lives we lead, and how all of that affects our children.’”.

A pig called Snuff: Terry Pratchett wins the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize

Sir Terry Pratchett has today, Wednesday 30 May 2012, been named the winner of the 2012 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction for his novel Snuff (Doubleday). Praised by The Independent for being ‘As funny as Wodehouse and as witty as Waugh’, it seems only fitting for the 64-year-old author to win a prize that celebrates fiction that captures the comic spirit of P.G. Wodehouse.

The prize includes the naming of a Gloucestershire Old Spot pig after the novel.

This is the first time Pratchett has won the prize, although he has been shortlisted on three previous occasions for his novels Thief of Times (2002), Going Postal (2005) and Thud (2006). As the 13th winner of the prize, he joins previous winners including Paul Torday, Ian McEwan, Marina Lewycka and DBC Pierre in an impressive canon of comic fiction.

Snuff is Terry Pratchett’s 50th book and the 39th in the Discworld novels. The book, which sees Commander Sam Vimes investigating a country house murder whilst on holiday, has become one of the fastest-selling hardback novels since records began. AS Byatt, in a review for The Guardian, commented ‘Pratchett is a master storyteller… He is a master of complex jokes, good bad jokes, good dreadful jokes and a kind of insidious wisdom about human nature (and other forms of alien nature).’

Peter Florence, a judge of the prize and Director of The Telegraph Hay Festival, comments: ‘I am thrilled he's won in this 25th anniversary year of the festival. He's consistently funny, inventive and with an acute, satirical view of the world.

Terry Pratchett will be presented with the Prize - a jeroboam of Bollinger Special Cuvée, a case of Bollinger La Grande Année and a set of the Everyman Wodehouse collection - at The Telegraph Hay Festival on Wednesday 6 June.  He will also have the honour of having a locally-bred pig named after the novel. Sir Terry will be speaking at the festival about his life and work.

The judges of the prize are: James Naughtie, broadcaster and author; David Campbell, Everyman’s Library publisher and Peter Florence.

Awa Press Young Designer of the Year 2012: three portfolios shortlisted

Highly talented young book designers currently making their names in the publishing industry are the finalists for Awa Press Young Designer of the Year 2012. For Anna Egan-Reid, Megan van Staden and Saskia Nicol, book design projects showcase their impressive creative abilities and breadth of scope over a range of titles.

Each designer has submitted a portfolio of four titles to be viewed by judges North & South art director Jenny Nicholls, design firm partner Gideon Keith and bookseller Roger Parsons. Keely O’Shannessy, a previous winner of the Young Designer Award, is the advisory judge for the category.

Anna Egan-Reid has a Bachelor of Arts in art history and English and has been typesetting since her late teens. She recently worked as an in-house designer at Penguin Books (NZ). Her entry is four book designs for Penguin: the literary Janet Frame: In Her Own Words (Janet Frame; Denis Harold & Pamela Gordon, eds); an illustrated New Zealand non-fiction title Trail: Riding the Otago Central Rail Trail (Paul Sorrell & Graham Warman); children’s picture book Moon Cow (Kyle Mewburn); and Summer Houses (Andrea Stevens with photography by Simon Devitt) a book of holiday home architecture.

Megan van Staden graduated with honours in graphic design at Massey University. Megan’s four designs are for Random House, where she currently works as a designer: Te Hao Nui The Great Catch: Object Stories from Te Manawa (Fiona McKergow & Kerry Taylor, eds), discoveries in the museum’s collection; Untamed: The Extraordinary Adventures of the Swazi Man, Davey Hughes’ hunting adventures; Q & Eh: Questions and Answers on Language with a Kiwi Twist (Laurie Bauer, Janet Holmes, Dianne Bardsley, Paul Warren); and the only fiction cover in the shortlist entries, Witi Ihimaera’s The Parihaka Woman.

Saskia Nicol has an AUT Bachelor of Art and Design degree, after which she worked in magazines and for Random House, and is now a freelance designer. Saskia’s submissions were: Tupaia: The Remarkable Story of Captain Cook’s Polynesian Navigator (Joan Druett); a trip through New Zealand art in It's All About the Image (Dick Frizzell); and history in Fighting Spirit: 75 Years of the RNZAF (Margaret McClure), all for Random House. NZ New Millennium: A Decade in Pictures was designed by Saskia for Penguin.

The Awa Press Young Designer Award is part of the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) Design Awards and is open to designers aged under 35. Designers submit a portfolio of up to five books designed over one year. Entries are judged on the ability of designers to consider the author’s work, the publisher’s marketing requirements and the audience appeal of the books they have designed.

Advisory judge Keely O’Shannessy was impressed with this year’s submissions. “All the entries – and this is the biggest number yet – were of a very high quality,” said Keely. “It was really hard to choose the final three, but we were impressed by the diverse portfolios of the three finalists who showed real ability in design across different genres.”

The winner of the Awa Press Young Designer of the Year Award will receive a prize of $1,000 at the PANZ Book Design Awards ceremony in Auckland on 5 July.