Friday, May 9, 2014


It is my month of talking - May. If I am a little absent from my blog I apologise - I am darting hither and thither across the countryside and not sitting down at a desk as much as I usually do. I have remarked in the past that I could talk the hind leg off a donkey - apparently now I can also talk myself horse hoarse. I spent Thursday and Friday talking about creative writing and reading some of my books to the students at Remarkables Primary School in Queenstown, with a view to die for, and a tad more rain than I had anticipated. I talked about ideas, plotting, tone, language techniques and character development. We discussed rules for writing and how authors and illustrators work independently on a book. The children were terrific and I had a great time and was especially thrilled by the bright wee sparks who told me they couldn't wait to go off and write stories. Here are some pics from the visit

The school is in a very picturesque location:

Friday afternoon I headed back to Dunedin (via Christchurch) so I could take part in the Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival. I felt very privileged to be asked to join author, Sandy McKay and chair, Bridget Schaumann for a panel discussion on Historical YA fiction and this morning we chatted about our writing process, our own history and the backgrounds to our books. We talked about getting published, research and writing habits. I hope the audience enjoyed the session as much as I did. If you wonder whether I get nervous before these things, the answer is, yes, I do. I think nerves are a normal part of the public speaking business and are not necessarily a bad sign. They don't paralyse me or prevent me from doing the job, and to me are just indicative of the fact I am keen to give a good talk and provide useful information in a coherent manner. And once I begin, they go. I don't tend to worry about them.This evening I am off to hear Eleanor Catton talk and then on Monday I wing my way to Auckland for some more talking at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival. I am currently resting my vocal cords. 

1 comment:

Jane Bloomfield said...

You need a 'cool' button Melinda!