Thursday, June 26, 2014

Your chance to win a copy of my new book 'The Song of Kauri'...

NZ Booksellers recently held their annual conference. You can read a bit about it here. As mentioned last year, sales are declining (bad), although the rate of descent is slowing (good). And again, sales of children's books are doing better than most (great). I would love to know what actual numbers we are talking about here, and whether NZ children's literature is forming a reasonable percentage of those children's book sales. And if they are, what sort of push might be made by all those involved (from publishers, through to booksellers, and international trade folk) to make the most of this. How do our NZ children's literature sales numbers relate to total NZ lit sales and book sales overall? NZ literature has been getting some good overseas exposure recently through our guest of honour position at the Frankfurt Book Fair a few years back, our special Festival in the UK last month, and through Eleanor Catton's spectacular Man Booker Prize win. Yay! This is all great news. I am hoping at some point this wonderful spotlight will widen on our local children's literature. We work hard to write great books and help them sell, but I think we could do with some extra help to get a bit more attention overseas. If our books garner more interest, this benefits booksellers as well as authors and illustrators.

I went on some wonderful school visits this week, with an all day session on Tuesday at Kowhai Intermediate in Auckland and a shorter one at Balmacewen Intermediate in Dunedin yesterday. We talked about plot essentials, character development, the importance of names and of editing, and about books we love amongst other things. I tip my hat to the wonderful teachers and librarians who devote themselves to sparking a love of reading in their students, who continually look for new ways to interest and engage them, and encourage and support their reading and writing skills. They are real heroes in my book!

And now folks, it's time for a competition! My new picture book The Song of Kauri is out July 1st and I have just received my author copies. I have one hardback copy and one softback Maori translation to give away. In the comments below tell me your all-time-favourite character name, and why you love it. Some personal favourites of mine are Elizabeth Bennett, Frodo Baggins and Finnick Odair.  Also say whether you want the Te Reo or English version of the book. The competition will close on July 4th. And.......go!


Helen Vivienne Fletcher said...

I've always loved the name "Lyndall" from a book called "The Story of an African Farm" which I bought in an airport somewhere in Africa as a teenager. Lyndall was a rather horrible character though!

Caroline Wilkinson said...

When I was younger I loved the name Moon Child from Michael Ende novel the Neverending story. I secretly wanted to name my first child Moon Child, my son should be thankful that I out grew that.

I also love the names from Meryvn Peake's Gormenghast series Steerpike and Sourdust were some of my favorite.

I would love the English version, but I did kind of cheat a little and gave you three names instead of one :)