In German – and English

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The short speech I gave at the press conference about New Zealand’s programme as Guest of Honour at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair has been posted online.

You can listen to an excerpt from RANGATIRA – in English! – at the Listener’s Book Club website. And you can ask me a question about the novel here.

I think it’s also possible to listen to my recent interview about the novel with Kathryn Ryan on Radio New Zealand.

Rangatira in Frankfurt

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I’m flying to Frankfurt this weekend to take part in a press conference on Monday June 18th: it’s about New Zealand as Guest of Honour at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. I’ll be writing some blog posts for the Book Fair site in the months leading up to the big event itself, so will post links here when items are published.

The NZ Book Council has published a handy round-up of reviews for RANGATIRA – you have to scroll down the page to see them. It includes links to TV and radio reviews. This doesn’t include everything to date, but it’s everything that’s available online.

RANGATIRA a finalist in 2012 NZ Post Book Awards

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Great news last night: RANGATIRA is a finalist in this year’s New Zealand Post Book Awards. The other two fiction finalists are both excellent short-story collections: FROM UNDER THE OVERCOAT by Sue Orr, and Fiona Kidman’s THE TROUBLE WITH FIRE.

I’m very excited to be a finalist in our national book awards, and will be going home (thanks, Penguin!) in late July in time for the awards ceremony.

If you live in NZ and want to nominate RANGATIRA for the People’s Choice Award, you can do that at the web site. The deadline is Friday July 6th.

Auckland Writers & Readers Festival 2012

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I’m looking forward to returning to my home town of Auckland for the festival next month. I’m going to be involved in a number of events, including a session with fellow novelist Stephanie Johnson, chaired by another fine novelist, Rachael King.

In addition, I’m taking part in the Schools Programme, interviewing Emily Perkins, and chairing a session with Mal Peet, Sebastian Barry, and Jesmyn Ward.

If you’re in Auckland in early May, I’ll see you there.

Writing Tips

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Some of my writing tips for YA fiction writers are posted at This Is Teen. Check them out and let me know what you think. Also, there are dozens of contests going on right now to win a copy of DARK SOULS. This is just one of them. This is another. (Search for Win Copy Morris Dark Souls – there are plenty to choose from.)

Also, my first interview about the book is posted here. Thanks, Lalaine!


DARK SOULS now available

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My new YA novel, DARK SOULS, was published in the US this week. The novel – the story of Miranda and her brother, Rob, who are both recovering from the scars, physical and psychic, of a car accident – is a mystery set in York, the city in England where I lived for three years.  Of course, I made sure to include a scene or two at Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms, which I visited every single week I lived in York – sometimes more than once.

Below is the teaser I wrote for the novel when I first presented the idea to Scholastic. Read the book and let me know what you think …

York, England. December. Mist lingers in the streets. Snow banks up against the city’s Roman walls and around the towering York Minster, one of the great medieval cathedrals of Europe. The river Ouse is icy, gray, and forbidding.

The city of York is the most haunted place on earth: the ghosts of Viking pillagers, Roman soldiers, Catholic martyrs, hanged highwaymen, rebels and cavaliers, victims of the Black Death, and tragic royals all haunt its narrow lanes and half-timbered old buildings.

Two American teenagers arrive in this moody ancient city. Neither of them really want to be here. But although they don’t know it yet, both will fall in love for the first time in York. They’ll also be forced to confront their greatest fears.

In York, they’ll risk losing everything. The parents they love. The people they fall in love with. Their sanity.

Their lives.