February 2014: Friends of Pataka

Friends of Pataka (Pataka Art and Museum is Porirua’s excellent museum/gallery) hosted a music-and-words event based on The Score – a pianist, a harmonica player, a piano technician, and a writer telling some of the stories behind the novel, and playing some of the music that features in it. Porirua Paper Plus sold lots of books – they have to be one of the best booksellers around.

And here’s what we did for the Festival of the Elements – it’s Porirua’s great celebration of Waitangi Day. Four of us involved with Escalator Press – Mandy Hager, Mary-Jane Duffy, Janet Colson,and I – read from our work, then cobbled together some kind of crazy story from all the works, and the audience had to come up with suitable – or unsuitable – endings. Lots of fun, and a great way for us to send up our own work!


December 2013: Abdel’s Favourites

Abdel’s Favourites has hit the market, and it’s such a beautiful book. I’ve had my marketing hat on for a few weeks now. First for The Score — I’ve never been great at marketing my own work, but when there’s something bigger at stake, like a new press, you really drive it along! And now the cookbook — last week a stall at the Hataitai market, this week selling to the staff at Te Papa. But the publishing team did a wonderful job promoting it.  I feel very proud to be part of that project.

September 2013: Launch of The Score

September 2013 saw the launch of The Score and brand-new publishing house Escalator Press, and the 20th anniversary of the Whitireia Creative Writing Programme. Quite a lot to celebrate all at once! It’s brash, setting up a new press these days when publishing is in such a state of change. But we (small Escalator Press group) think there are real opportunities. We’re using a totally new funding and operating model, and The Score is a kind of guinea pig. But it’s all going really well, and it’s very exciting.



Shadows on the Beach


Kate Whitley took the photographs for this website. She and I wandered around Titahi Bay, which is my home ground – an extraordinarily beautiful and very diverse place with its own distinctive character. Her clear photographer’s eye saw all kinds of things I’d never even noticed – a bench against a boatshed, graffiti, odd signs – and our two strange shadows on the sand.