Book Review: All Our Secrets, by Jennifer Lane — December 14, 2017

Book Review: All Our Secrets, by Jennifer Lane

Well edited and polished … as you would expect from a book edited by Penelope Todd.

Available in bookshops nationwide.

cv_all_our_secretsI began this novel with no expectations at all beyond the blurb, which made it sound dark and murderous, something along the lines of your usual crime fiction novel. And yes it would suit those who enjoy that type of read: but it is much much more than this. This is your ultimate immersive summer read.

Our 11-year-old narrator Gracie is the eldest in her family, which comprises of her mum, occasionally her promiscuous dad, and her extremely Catholic Grandma Bett; plus Elijah, and the 3-year-old twins Lucky and Grub. She and Elijah have a secret spot that they hide in while their Mum & Dad fight (usually about his indiscretions), but she is quietly proud to be his daughter. He is, to her eyes, the best-looking man in Coongahoola. Unfortunately, many other women agree.

‘At approximately three thirty in the afternoon, while walking on the…

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Ngaio Marsh founder Craig Sisterson’s insight into how and why he started this award. (Part 2) — September 26, 2017
Ngaio Marsh founder Craig Sisterson’s insight into how and why he started this award. (Part 1) —
Kiwi crime hits the UK shelves.  Top bloggers choose a #crime summer read: Craig at Crime Watch @craigsisterson — August 26, 2017
Manuscript critique from HarperCollins editor Phoebe Morgan — June 22, 2017

Manuscript critique from HarperCollins editor Phoebe Morgan

For all you writers, take a punt, help victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Authors for Grenfell Tower: An Online Auction

Phoebe Morgan - for website (1)

ITEM: Manuscript critique from HarperCollins editor Phoebe Morgan

DETAILS: I will give editorial feedback on your fiction synopsis and opening chapters (up to 10,000 words), plus advice on getting published. Open to fiction, any genre other than sci-fi.

BIO: I am a commercial fiction editor at Avon, a division of HarperCollins. Avon publishes, amongst others, number one bestsellers C. L. Taylor, Katerina Diamond, Angela Clarke and Fiona Gibson, and was shortlisted for imprint of the year in 2017. I work mainly on crime and thriller books and women’s fiction but am happy to look at other genres too. Twitter: @Phoebe_A_Morgan

WHO CAN BID: Worldwide.

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a home/not-home hero’s journey — May 12, 2017

a home/not-home hero’s journey

Written by a New Zealander who has made a home in the UK, and totally understood by an English person who has made a home in New Zealand.

Not Writing But Blogging

I’m going to Aotearoa/New Zealand in two weeks today. For about the past three months I’ve mostly been daunted by the prospect, and very occasionally excited about it. But this morning, while running, it occurred to me that I don’t have to be EITHER fearful OR fearless. I could be both. Or neither. I could be fearful and fearless, quite possibly at the same time.

I’m daunted partly to do with the schedule – not that it’s so very different to my usual work schedule at home, but there is quite a lot of extra travel AND also about 60-70 old friends and family to fit in the in-between work bits. In my 28 days (exactly) away from home I have:

  • 4 x 12 hour international flights
  • 5 x smaller internal NZ flights
  • about 12 hours driving time
  • three writing workshops for a range of abilities/interests
  • three Fun Palaces workshops

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2017 Poetry Competition Results — April 2, 2017

2017 Poetry Competition Results

Congratulations, Kath Beattie! You rock!

Poems in the Waiting Room (NZ)

Time to announce the winners

of the 2017

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Poems in the Waiting Room (NZ) poetry competition

The 2017 competition winners have all been notified, and I’ve emailed everyone, who provided me with an email address, to let them know the results are out. Many thanks to: Otago University Press, the art deptand Otago University Bookshop for providing monetary prizes and book vouchers for our 2017 competition.

The winning poems will appear in the winter edition of the Poems in the Waiting Room poetry card. I intend spending some time going through all submissions and selecting any which might be suitable for a future PitWR edition. I’ll be in touch with those poets before the end of the month.

Many thanks to everyone who entered the competition. Your support will help Poems in the Waiting Room continue to provide free seasonal poetry cards to medical waiting rooms, rest homes…

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Authors in Crime: A Journey through New Zealand Crime Fiction —

Authors in Crime: A Journey through New Zealand Crime Fiction

On the 16th March, Laim McIlvanney and I attended the opening of the above exhibition at the Reed Gallery at the Dunedin Public Library, and the accompanying talk by Victoria University student Margie Michael, currently completing a PhD on New Zealand crime fiction, looking particularly at the use of place, placelessness and beyond.

Michael took us on a journey through time and politics in the company of some of our finest, and lesser known, crime writers.

Afterwards we took a look at the Exhibits;  New Zealand crime books displayed in glass specimen cases, everything from The Mystery of a Hansom Cab first published in 1886 to Twister, published in 2015.

From old-fashioned ‘penny dreadfuls’ through sophisticated ‘whodunnits’ to modern psychological thrillers, the art-work alone is worth a view. Obviously, Dame Ngaio Marsh features and fans of Marsh will recognise the inspiration for the exhibition title.

The gallery have included any writer who was born in New Zealand as well as those who grew up or spent a substantial period of their life here. With a strong emphasis on contemporary writers the Gallery hopes to draw more readers into what they call the fascinating world of crime and detective fiction.

Click here for links to the books on display.

 

In The Spotlight: Jane Woodham’s Twister — October 31, 2016

In The Spotlight: Jane Woodham’s Twister

A clever summary of Twister by Margot Kinberg.

Confessions of a Mystery Novelist...

SpotlightHello, All,

Welcome to the last of these four special editions of In The Spotlight. One of the real delights in reading books in competition for the Ngaio Marsh Awards is that many of them give the reader a very interesting look at life in modern New Zealand. Let’s  focus on such a book today, and turn the spotlight on Jane Woodham’s Twister.

As the novel begins, a nasty ‘flu virus has been going the rounds of Dunedin, and taking its toll on everyone, including the police force. So, the local police are spread thin. Then, the weather turns against the city. Five days of rain soak things, followed by an unexpected twister. There’s considerable damage, and the already-decimated police force have even more on their hands. They’re hoping very much that things will calm down enough so that the city can be cleaned up and damage repaired. But…

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In the Spotlight: Margot Kinberg takes a look at John Daniell’s The Fixer — — October 25, 2016

In the Spotlight: Margot Kinberg takes a look at John Daniell’s The Fixer —

Hello, All, Welcome to another special edition of In The Spotlight. For many people, New Zealand just wouldn’t be New Zealand without rugby. And plenty of Kiwis are true fans of the game. So it’s only natural that there’d be at least one rugby-themed book among this year’s finalists for the Ngaio Marsh Award for […]

via In the Spotlight: John Daniell’s The Fixer — Confessions of a Mystery Novelist…