Beginnings

I’m going home next June. I was born in Northern Ireland, and lived with my Protestant minister father and my mother and two siblings in County Armagh, just by the border. In the seventies (yes I am that old) South Armagh was known as “bandit country” because it was such a dangerous place to be during […]

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Inaugural NZ National Writers’ Forum

Stuck in a room full of writers for an entire weekend? It would be some people’s idea of a nightmare. It was my idea of Heaven at the inaugural National Writers’ Forum in Auckland. The forum was the brainchild of the New Zealand Society of Authors (of which I’m a member). Sometimes inaugural events have […]

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Show Business for Shy People

Lee Child once said that “writing is show business for shy people”. This quote resonates with me, particularly at the moment, as I am performing in The Phantom of the Opera at the famous Civic Theatre in Auckland. I’ve been doing musical theatre for many years, but a year or two ago I pulled back from […]

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The Book Exchange

I’ve achieved some rather major literary goals this year, and last night I celebrated with two lovely women. There’s me in the middle. (Those holes in my top are a design feature, not a result of drunken undressing in the dark. I wish.) On the right is Joanna, and to the left is Sara: the […]

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Employing a Professional Proofreader

This is an article I wrote for NZ Business and Management Magazine. It’s in the November issue, which is out now. You’re a business that prides itself on communicating effectively to its clients and prospects. You produce brochures, flyers and other written marketing material. Your website is a major component of your communications plan. Your company produces […]

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Interview With The Author #1

It’s inching ever closer…the day I can announce that I’ve finished my first novel and it’s off being professionally assessed (i.e. savagely ripped apart and chucked back at me in whimpering pieces). My lovely friend Sara (check out her fantastic book-reviewing-blog-with-a-difference here) suggested a while ago that I interview myself about my novel in order to […]

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The Milford Chronicles: Chapter Four

This is the last instalment in my account of walking the Milford Track last month. If you’ve just joined me, you may want to read Chapters One – Three before this one. Chapter Four: Day 4: Dumpling Hut to Sandfly Point Breakfast was followed by goodbyes. We were all departing at different times for Sandfly […]

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The Milford Chronicles: Chapter Three

Chapter Three: Day 3: Mintaro Hut to Dumpling Hut A cheeky committee of keas woke us early on Day Three. They perched on the outdoor tables, eying us as we emerged to go to the toilet. We had been warned to hang up our boots and take all our belongings inside or these mischievous birds could […]

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The Milford Chronicles: Chapter Two

Chapter Two: Day 2: Clinton Hut to Mintaro Hut If there’s one thing worse than a snorer, it’s a snorer on the Milford Track. It was the subdued talk of the hut on the morning of Day Two. Some were convinced it was the Israeli. Others swore it was the father and son from Boston. […]

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The Milford Chronicles: Chapter One

I walked the world-famous Milford Track last week. It was one of the best adventures I have ever had. Maybe it was because the last year has been one of tremendous personal upheaval, and this trip felt like a significant “marker” on a difficult emotional journey. You’ll be pleased (I hope) to know that every […]

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