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Showing posts from November, 2011

Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on 'Ka Mate'!

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That's right - Black Friday has become All Blacks Friday, as Ka Mate: Travels in New Zealand is discounted for four days only at Createspace. The New Zealand travel memoir has been getting some rave reviews over the last few weeks, including a 10/10 review from The Review Girl , who called it "a must-read for travel enthusiasts, especially sports fans and 'Lord of the Rings' movie fans". And now is the perfect time to buy a copy for yourself - or as a Christmas present - while Createspace is offering 30% off the retail price. To get the 30% discount, visit the Ka Mate page at Createspace , and use the following code during checkout: 8BABLRJ3. The code is good through Monday November 28 (Cyber Monday), and can be used multiple times - so you can always buy more than one copy... Who said you had to camp out overnight to catch a bargain?

'Ka Mate' interview online now!

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When I'm not writing, you'll often find me talking to other writers and interviewing them for publications like Spike magazine and CultureMob . There's no better way to get a grip on what (and how) an author thinks than to hear them speak, and interviews are the perfect opportunity for that - plus they help us all pretend that writing is the new rock'n'roll... One of the pleasures of writing Ka Mate: Travels in New Zealand has been that I occasionally get to sit on the other side of the desk, however, and it's been an eye-opening experience. Book blogger The Review Girl recently interviewed me for her site, and it was a whole different experience on the other end of the questions. If nothing else, being interviewed forces you to form an opinion on matters that had only been vague concepts in your mind before. Now I know why all those politicians stutter and sweat on camera. Anyway, all this preamble is building up to the fact that you can read The Review G

The Review Girl tackles Ka Mate

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It looks as if the publicity machine is finally starting to rumble into motion for Ka Mate: Travels in New Zealand . The book has just been reviewed by book blogger The Review Girl , and we're off to a great start... a 10/10 rating, and she calls it "a must-read for travel enthusiasts, especially sport fans and Lord of the Rings movie fans!" Yeah, I know - it sounds like I bribed her for that one. But you'll have to take my word for it that I didn't. Or, even better, take her word for it. You can read The Review Girl's thoughts on Ka Mate here , and judge for yourself. And if you still haven't bought a copy, visit my Ka Mate page for details of where you can buy this "spellbinding voyage from North Island to South Island" (Review Girl's words, not mine!). Now, if I can just squeeze my head through the door, I'd better get back to writing...

Food meets Travel on The Nervous Breakdown

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Those who visit this blog regularly will know that I recently started writing for The Nervous Breakdown , one of the most exciting literary websites on the web (you can read my first article, an extract from Ka Mate: Travels in New Zealand , here ). It's my aim to publish essays, travel articles, and general non-fiction on their site from time to time, and I'm pleased to say that my latest piece is now live. I could waste my time by giving you a rundown of what the essay's about, but frankly you should just go read it at The Nervous Breakdown. As a hint, though, it's an exploration of why there's such an intimate connection between travel and food, and why I can recall a meal I ate in Venice ten years ago when I can't remember what I cooked for dinner last Tuesday. If that's not enough to draw you in, there's also a leaky boat, spears, and a meditation on the habits of touring sports teams. You can read the article via the link below: Wish You Ate

Join my workshop at Write-O-Rama!

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If you're a writer and live in Seattle, then there's a good chance that you'll already know the Richard Hugo House in Capitol Hill. It's a fantastic non-profit dedicated to promoting the written word, and they offer writing classes and workshops throughout the year. And for those of you who are unsure about committing to a six-week course, they also offer Write-O-Rama, a day of one-hour workshops that is guaranteed to set your creative juices flowing (with the help of a little coffee, naturally - this is Seattle, after all). Write-O-Rama will be taking place again on December 3, 2011, and this time I'll be there leading a workshop on writing reviews and "becoming part of the cultural conversation". As with all Write-O-Rama workshops my slot lasts one hour, comprising a discussion of two reviews and the lessons they offer us, followed by around 40 minutes of putting your writing skills to the test. Here's the official blurb for my contribution t

Meet Alexi Zentner, literary backwoodsman...

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You know that I like to sit around and talk shop with other writers, especially if there's a pint (or five) of beer involved - and that's why I love writing for Spike magazine. In the past few months I've been lucky enough to interview Peter Mountford and Urban Waite, and the Spike site has just published my chat with another great debut novelist, Alexi Zentner. I don't want to spoil the interview before you've even got to it, so suffice it to say that Alexi's debut novel, Touch , is one of the accomplished and memorable debuts I've read in a long time. Mapping out the wilds of Canada via its landscape, climate and rustic mythologies, Touch also manages to be gripping from the outset - and, well, touching. Read it and you'll see why Alexi has already been nominated for a number of major literary awards. Once you've read Touch (or if you can't wait, and want to dive straight in) you can find my interview with Alexi Zentner here . Now, where