Friday, June 29, 2007

Time well spent

So what am I doing with this extra time, you ask?

I'm working on the second novel.

I'm exercising although still not frequently enough.

I'm checking my stats.

I'm sitting up to see if Emirates Team New Zealand can win the next yachting race.

That's enough for anyone, isn't it?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Balance revisted

One week ago I resolved to take a more balanced approach to this whole blogging thing so now seems like a good time to look at what's happened over this time.

I've lost traffic - almost half of what I was getting. That's scary but I'm holding to my course. I've read of so many writers giving up their blog because it was taking too much time.

I don't believe I've lost "regular" readers although people are not commenting quite so much. I think the traffic I've lost is, for the most part, people who weren't going to stick around anyway. But it's from that constant flow of passing traffic that the people who are going to return trickle in. I imagine my rate of growth will have slowed right down.

Does that matter? Probably not!

Certainly my blog round is turning into a thing of joy - most days! - rather than an endurance event that I sweat and gasp my way through. I check my blog first thing in the morning and I visit blogs who have commented at mine. Then I simply please myself. If I feel like visiting a particular blog, I do. I don't rack my brains for a comment. If something occurs to me, I write it. If it doesn't, I don't. I move on.

I'm like a bee. I flit from flower to flower. Some days I like red blossoms and some days I hanker after yellow, and some day I just want to sit in the hive and not bother harvesting at all.

Hopefully you don't have too many kiwis visiting so that I show up somewhere in your stats and you smile and think "ah, Dawn popped in today".

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Go Team New Zealand!

Are you watching the America's Cup?

What do you mean "what cup"?

Excitement within New Zealand has stepped up a notch with Emirates Team New Zealand winning a second race. Like many people, I'm trying to stay up to watch the racing live but finding it difficult. I usually end up falling asleep on the couch and missing it!

It replays in the morning so no real harm done.

We've a long way to go. It's the best of nine races and with three races run, New Zealand is up by one race. The worrying thing is that Alinghi seems to be a faster boat.

But our team is touch and tenacious, and we've been in this position before.I've got my fingers and toes crossed that we can do it again.

Go Team New Zealand!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mangakino Area School

This morning I gave a talk to the two senior English classes at the local High School. It was an interesting experience.

It was a mixed class of fifteen/sixteen year olds and what struck me most was how mature and confident they seemed. Nothing like my memories of that time in my own life.

It pleased me enormously because our little community has so often got itself in the news for the wrong reasons. These guys looked like winners.

I talked about where story ideas come from, putting a character together, word choice. I also talked about the choices they will make in their own lives over the next few years.

Hopefully, they didn't think I was preaching to them but it seems to me that you can't talk to teenagers without mentioning in passing that the choices they make can limit them if not made wisely.

So - another new experience for me. There has been an avalanche of them over the last few weeks, but this one, I enjoyed more than most.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Ripples on the Lake at No 3

I received an email from HarperCollins NZ today informing me that Ripples on the Lake is at number 3 on Booksellers New Zealand list of best selling books in NZ for the two weeks ended 22nd June 2007.

Wow! I tap danced my way round the lounge, kissed both dogs and generally yee-hawed loud enough to make the neighbours look over the fence in alarm! I really am just blown away by the news. I never dreamt that it would be up and running so quickly.

The official Booksellers NZ site still lists the results from the previous two weeks but I assume it will change any day. Ripples on the Lake doesn't get a mention there because it has only been released in the last two weeks.

I will email Natalie Winter and let her know because I'm sure her beautiful cover is playing a large part in those findings. That cover says "buy me"!

I have to come down to earth long enough to prepare for a school talk in the morning. I've no idea what you talk about at these things but I'm sure I'll think of something.

You do realise, don't you, that I shall now force you to look at the results of this Bookseller list every fortnight with monotonous regularity - or at least until my baby slips off the bottom! Don't say I didn't warn you!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The kiwi squawks

In my wildest dreams, I never would have imagined myself being interviewed on a programme called Arts on Sunday - I just don't see myself as the "arty' type.

But it's happened, and for anyone who feels their life will be a bare and stunted thing without hearing my dulcet tones, you can link up to the Arts on Sunday programme here and you'll find an audio of the interview under one of the book segments.

Of course, I don't sound a scrap like that! I've been listening to my own voice for half a century and it isn't like that at all!

I'm actually quite pleased with the interview. I was so sure that I was going to sound like a complete twit that anything else is a relief! I sound more reflective than I really am. My mouth was actually running away with me half the time but somehow my answers came out sounding considered! Thank dog!

The interview has given me confidence - at least until next time! I think that even if I said something really foolish, it might not actually sound as stupid as it should!

Of course, this burst of confidence could be all that I need to make a total plonker of myself in the next interview!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Yet another day at the gas station

Froze my wee tail feathers off at the gas station today. There's a cold front moving up the country and a cold wind blowing straight in the door! Was very pleased when five o'clock arrived.

Lots of people asking how the book is selling. I have to tell them that I'm probably the last person to know the answer to that question. Lots of people using my name which is nice - obviously I have changed from "that weekend lady" to Dawn. One person bought a book in for signing.

A teenager informed me that I'll be talking to her class next week. Luckily, I already knew that! Her teacher had phoned the day before to see if I would talk to the senior English class at the local high school. The teenager said they had been instructed to think of questions to ask so I told her to make the questions easy.

I hear interviewees saying how lovely it is to get a different or unusual question but I haven't reached that stage yet. I want to answer the same questions I was asked last time because I have at least had one run through on the answers for those!

It alarms me slightly to hear my voice spouting forth ideas that I haven't run past my brain yet!

And in keeping with my new balanced life where exercise is to once more play a part, I kept warm by doing a step routine at the entrance - all the while keeping a wary eye open for passing motorists who might be so alarmed at the sight of a muffled up gas station attendant "stepping" that they drove off the road!

Friday, June 22, 2007


Almost everyone who visits here also wanders round past Crabby McSlacker's blog so you will be aware of the interesting series of posts that Crabby has on this thing called balance.

It seems to be something that so many of us bloggers struggle with.

We're either going all out at something or not lifting a finger, instead of working at a sensibly steady pace in all the different areas of our life.

That's me! Tearing down the road at a hundred miles an hour with my blog (not that it is travelling at that speed but I'm sure putting a lot of energy into keeping my foot on the pedal) but I'm lolling on the couch with my writing and in the health and fitness areas of my life.

I haven't been on my exercycle for months. Haven't looked at a manuscript for months. Rarely get out for a walk. I haven't read a book for months.

Leah over at The Goat's Lunch Pail reminded me that it is the time of the solstice - winter solstice for us here in the southern hemisphere - but still a time for change.

So I intend to make some changes.

I've pulled the first draft of the "crappy" novel back out again and have been reading it through today. Better than I hoped in some places, as bad as I feared in others!

I'll be working at the gas station over the next two days. After that - a walk every day. No more bum stuck to the computer chair all day. That bum is getting bigger every day!

I intend to stop trying to "grow" the blog traffic. I'm here, I'll continue to post most days of the week, but if I don't, I'm not going to worry too much about it. I hope you'll continue to check in most days - but if you don't, well, I don't want you stressing about that either.

This blog will find its natural level all by itself. Neither I nor you need worry about that.

The next book is actually more important than the blog. The blog is here to support - not to be a replacement - for the writing!

And my health and fitness is more important than either.

Here's to balance!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

First radio interview

"We'll be live on air in forty seconds," said Laura Drummond, breakfast host with Taumarunui Classic Hits.

I could only just hear her voice over the hammering of my heart. Deep breaths, think of Adrienne, I told myself. I gripped the phone, listened to clicks on the line that told even a radio interview newbie that I was "on", and suddenly I was saying hello in what I think was a reasonably normal voice and chatting with Laura about the weather.

We soon left the security of the mist rising off the Waikato River (or the lack of it that morning) and dived into the book.

My confidence rose as I managed to say Hatupatu Rock without transposing consonants into a tongue-twisting nightmare. (Does anyone else have a word they always fumble when nervous?)

And a few minutes later, after having covered what Ripples on the Lake was about, where the inspiration had come from, and reviews, the interview was over. It ended abruptly with cheery thank yous and goodbyes, and then the line went dead.

I crumbled into a heap onto the couch and then rose triumphant like a phoenix from amongst the cushions, telephone cords and yesterday's newspapers.

I raced outside and released the dogs who had both been banished to their runs to prevent any possible distraction and we all galloped round the little orchard until I'd burnt off the worst of the adrenalin still pumping through my system. Then off over the road to buy a restorative cream filled apple donut!

So - the first radio interview done and dusted. Looking back, I can see that Laura led me through the interview like a prize heifer with a ring in her nose - exactly what a radio interview virgin wants and I am immensely grateful for her handling.

(I hope no one is counting how many times I've lost my virginity along the road to publication! It's becoming a weekly occurrence!)

There's another radio interview later this week but there will be no pre-air jitters this time. I'm an old hand now!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Congrats to Sunday News competitors

It was exciting to discover that one of the Sunday newspapers here in New Zealand has used Ripples on the Lake as a prize.

Congratulations to the eight winners!

It's funny the things you find in the Google Alerts. I had no idea that Ripples was being given as a prize but am delighted that it was. It's kind of fun to think of my book being used in that way. I shall have to track down a copy of the paper and see what it was all about.

I have a number of Google Alerts out but am thinking of stopping some of them. The character Nick Jones shares his name with half the known universe. I've slowly added minus baseball, minus shot put, minus golf - I tell you there is a Nick Jones playing almost every sport imaginable!

And the character Big Wal was picking up an alert every time someone mentioned Wal Mart!

Anyway, congratulations you lucky Sunday News winners. I do hope you enjoy the story.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Wooing you

I'm wooing you. Not all of you, of course, but yes, there are some of you reading this today that I'm trying to sweet-talk into a long term relationship.

But not all relationships are created equal, and whilst some of you can treat me like dirt, shout and bawl at me, come home drunk and refuse to pay me my housekeeping allowance, others better be nice or I'm out of it - and I'll take the kids!

Today, I removed my first link. I'd been thinking about it for a week or so. It was, I decided, a relationship where I was doing all the courting.

If you've one of the big boys or girls with plump luscious lips and an aura that can be smelt at a hundred paces, that's okay. I know I'm beneath your radar and I'll scurry about picking up whatever crumbs I can. I simply want to dine at your table and if there isn't enough of the fine crystal, I'll drink from a mug. Just let me hang around.

But what if someone is at the same stage of blogging as myself? Then it depends. If I genuinely enjoy your site you can certainly be a little more casual with me and I'll stay for awhile.

And if you're in my "Interesting Kiwi Sites" you can slap me around forever and I'll stay linked. You have something I want - a gift to give others.

I don't link on a first date and I don't expect it of others. We court awhile - see if we've both the inclination for this dalliance. Sometimes I read you wrong. I think you smiled at me when you hadn't.

But if I link to you and after a reasonable length of time you don't link back, if I always comment at your blog and you rarely comment at mine, then after a month or so I'm going to drop you. There are other, more appreciative blogs out there.

This is the point that surprises me. Assuming that the reason we all blog is that we want an audience for our thoughts (for whatever reason) then why do some people, who are surely still at the "growing their blog" stage, play so hard to get?

Loosen up - give me a wink. I might let you whisper in my ear!

So, today I removed my first link. It's nothing personal, but I have only so much time to chase you. If I'm not the lover you want, then I guess you're not the one for me either. It's a shame. We might have had something beautiful.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Words in, words out

As promised, tonight I've got the Taupo Times interview. Now, a word of warning. No - I don't mean it's x-rated! I mean that on my dial-up it takes about 10 minutes to load. There was no way of accessing it via the web other than me scanning the newspaper clipping.

So - unless you simply have to read it, I'd suggest you miss it. I'm not going to ask questions on it, I promise you! You won't offend me because I'll never know. And if you've been around for a week or two there isn't anything in it that you probably don't already know. (I do have a swag of rejection slips but just not from HarperCollins. That was probably one of the places where I was waffling!)

However, if you must -despite my warning - click here and you will be laboriously transported to a new page I've put on the website for reviews. While you're waiting go and pour yourself a drink or make a bacon buttie or something.

I'll leave it there for 24 hours and then remove it because it does look rather amateurish. My scanning of it, I mean, not the article itself. And simply the fact that I did scan it - as if I was newie author who had never before had an item in the paper about herself!

What you'll also find there are excerpts from the first three reviews in. I'm excited about them because between the three of them they sort of cover all bases. There is the Australian Woman's Weekly (NZ edition), a medium size newspaper and a Maori magazine and the fact that they each felt that Ripples on the Lake made a good fit with their readers pleases me. I'm still at that "want everyone in the world to love it" stage.

Today I deleted my first comment. It was a strange moment. Now you folk with blogs that are powering through the stratosphere at a zillion miles an hour are probably doing this all the time, but here at The Flightless Writer, we're more waddling along a bush track than screaming down a highway. I've never deleted a comment before.

I hope I did the right thing, but it was in Spanish (I think) so I couldn't understand a word of it and I suspect that most of you wouldn't either. And it did contain 2 links. And when I followed a link, that was in Spanish to.

So I apologise if there is a lovely Spanish person out there wondering where their post of congratulations has gone to - but I don't think that was what you were saying to me. Two links on a first post make me thing you were selling something - little blue pills or religion or - something.

We have pictures!

Sorry about the delay but ihug, my isp, has been having major problems over the last twenty-four hours. They must have kept the technicians working all night because this morning it's all fixed.

The photos from the Taupo Times article are shown below. I like the top one. Not pretty but pensive. I'm standing on the shore of Lake Taupo not far from where so much of the action in Ripples on the Lake happens. You have to imagine a small (3-4 metre) cliff on the landward side which is how the setting is directly across the road from Saffron Delaney's house. For Taupo residents, her house is across from The Great Lake Hole in One Challenge.

photo: Anna Campbell, Taupo Times

This is me on a rock - not pouting! - but holding the book. I had a decidely cold, damp behind by the time we'd finish the photographs.

photo: Anna Campbell, Taupo Times

I'll post the text part of the article tonight but I had to get Adrienne her pictures!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Having ISP problems. Difficult to get on line and then losing connection. Hopefully will post in morning. I have pictures!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Moko

Phone call from the relatives this evening so that our pre-school god daughter could tell me a story. Unfortunately - perhaps because the story held a Maori element - she told it in Maori!

Whilst I understand key words, I am not competent in the language so it all went over my head, however her "Mum" then stepped in with a translation. It seems that little Toriwai had seen my book in a shop that afternoon and wanted to hold the book. She recognised the cover of the lady with the moko on her chin.

Coincidentally, we've recently had a family reunion and viewed many old photos and amongst them was one of my husbands great-grandmother with a moko. And no -it is not the same design as the one on the cover - that would be too spooky!

The moko is much more than simply a pattern or adornment. It tells of a woman's history, place in society and tribal affiliation.

New Zealand went through a period where one never saw the moko as the last of the old women who had been tattooed died, but over the last decade, a new generation have embraced the culture of the moko and all of its rich history. While most Maori women do not wear the moko it is no longer a rarity.

It's good to know that the custom will never die out. Just as it's good to hear little Toriwai speak fluently in both English and Maori and know that the language will also never die.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ripples on the Lake

My novel has hit the shelves and the adventure of Saffron Delaney and Tama Ariki and Big Wal is underway!

It's my adventure too. The next couple of months are going to be such a buzz with new experiences coming at me thick and fast. Already several radio stations have booked interviews.

In a burst of enthusiasm (or possibly bulging store rooms!) the book was released a few days early. I'm happy with that. No Harry Potter timing for me. It's taken so long to get to this point that I simply want to see the book on the shelves and people reading it and enjoying.

The first books have arrived in the USA and are being read. Obviously some of you waved your credit cards determinedly enough at the online booksellers to get a flying start!

I've loved these characters with a passion - it feels so good to hear that other people love them too. There'll be some bad reviews, I know. You can't please everyone, but so far, the reviews are all good and include a major women's mag and also Maori media.

And don't worry, I will be sharing all these things with you once they have been published in the respective magazines.

In fact, I'll probably "share" far more than you ever wanted to know about this journey! That's what you get for hanging around a newbie author's blog!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Paris Hilton watch out

It was a brilliant winter's day in Taupo - sunny, clear, "perfect" declared Taupo Times photographer, Anna Campbell. And for her I suppose it was.

We drove to Wharewaka Point where the lake and the mountains and some rocks all aligned in inspirational symmetry. I knew I would be the weakest link.

I stood on a rock and pouted and simpered; I changed rocks and looked authorial. "Walk towards me', Anna cried, and I undulated across the sand like a cat walk model, my hips and my shoulders moving to different rhythms.

"Look here, now here, now here," Anna cried, clicking furiously, as she masterminded my finest hour. My eyes spun like a cat that fell asleep in the spin dryer.

Anna moved in for the closeups - Deep Throat was never this intimate. My eyes glazed and crossed as the camera hovered six inches from my left nostril.

Finally, Anna said we were done. She sent me a few photos from the shoot and I actually even like one of them where I look sort of pensive. This is no reflection upon Anna - I'm not the easiest person to photograph. Even people who know me are a little surprised at the contortions my face will attempt on film.

I'm hoping that the photo Anna has chosen for the article is a little like the pensive one. I suspect it will be. They're a nice lot at the Taupo Times.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I try to resist this sort of thing but I couldn't help myself. Is this cute or what? Take a peek - you'll be glad that you did.

I "borrowed" the above link from Matthew Walker and if you like things like carved cheese and caves and other oddities you should probably wander over to him next - as a sort of payment for me pinching his lovely link!

Tomorrow, assuming that the photographer is recovered, is the day for the photograph with the Taupo Times.

That won't be cute!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

You wrote it

It's interesting to discover just how many different ways those three words can be said!

I've been handing out cards at the gas station over the last week or so. They have a picture of the Ripples on the Lake cover on them plus my website and blog urls, and those three words would rate as the number one response.

There's the "you wrote it" full of excitement, usually delivered by a woman, often non-kiwi, and often followed by "well done, you!".

Then there's the cautious type who simply repeat the words back with a total lack of emphasis and eye me suspiciously. More often than not, nothing that I say really convinces this person. They suspect that I'm delusional, possibly dangerous. One person took a step back!

A number of the locals who know that "Dawn writes' were happy to at last be seeing some action on the "Dawn writes" front.

Some people turned the card over as if they thought more information would help them process this revelation. I'm not quite sure what they wanted - a testimony from a local minister perhaps, signature from HarperCollins Senior Editor, I don't know, but they definitely wanted more. They weren't going to take my word on this!

A few of local men were excited on behalf of my husband that at last he would be able to retire to a life of hunting and fishing, and lost all enthusiasm when I had to admit that wasn't going to happen. "We don't have a large enough population to sustain that sort of print run" I explain, but they've already lost interest and are striding back to their four-wheel-drives.

I obviously don't look like a writer. I look - and this is the problem - exactly as a middle aged female gas station attendant looks.

I wonder if I could get on to one of those "make-over" shows. Instead of ten years younger - just make me look like a damn writer!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Psst! Wanna win a book?

Regulars here at The Flightless Writer will know Adrienne Kress, writer, actress and fellow blogger. For those who are new, this is your opportunity to toady up to a real live actress so that at the next meeting of the Swanriver Crochet Club you can casually toss into the conversation, "of course,as I was saying to my good friend the Canadian actress Adrienne Kress" and watch their mouths hang open in envy. Go on! Do it! I do all the time!

Anyway - Adrienne is running a competition over at The Temp, The Actress and the Writer and the prize is an ARC of her book (that's advance reading copy to those of you who haven't yet been initiated into the society of the secret handshake) Alex and the Ironic Gentleman or Ted to his friends

All the "easy" suggestions have been made so you're going to have to put your thinking caps on. I'm determined to win one myself so it's going to be cut-throat! Anyway, pop over and see what it's all about, and if you wander back through some of Adrienne's older posts you can read blow by blow accounts of trying out for television commercials and various acting jobs that Adrienne has done. Most interesting for anyone, like me, who has always been on the dark side of the foot-lights.

I'm sure they'll be autographed so you'd be winning the moniker of a doubly talented lady.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

First interview

And it wasn't as alarming as I had feared.

The Taupo Times journalist was a lovely lady called Gill who obviously recognised me as an interview virgin and was suitably gentle with me. In fact, if it hadn't been for the tape recorder on the desk and Gill writing earnestly, it would have been just like chatting with a friend.

I was submerged in a big jacket which I had assured myself I would take off before I went in, but when the time came, I didn't. I hid in it!

To the best of my believe, I didn't say anything incriminating, defamatory, libellous, or downright dumb! I did waffle at times. I didn't always come up with exactly the right word when I wanted it. But overall - I'd count it as a successful first interview.

Of course, I haven't seen the write-up yet!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

I've been link-loved!

This burst of link-love started almost a week ago when I unveiled the new website and cyber-buddy Crabby from Crabby Mcslacker's Guide to Health and Fitness posted an entry on me. Immediately I noticed an upsurge in traffic.

Next, Talia from New Zealand Reality TV put an image and link in her sidebar.

Then last night, in an orgy of link-love, both Talia and Jack Yan showered me with links.

Talia, on her Centre for Emotional Wellbeing blog blessed me with another image and link through to Real Groovy.

And to top it all off, Jack Yan did an entire post on me, with the book cover, and with links to half the known universe at Jack Yan!

And has this flurry of link-love paid off you ask with baited breath? You've being waiting for me to get to the good bit, haven't you.

You bet! The Yahoo search on the books name has shot up to number 29 for the website. Now I know I still have a little way to go - I'm a page three girl and I don't want to be! First page or nothing, is my motto. But now it looks attainable. I've been sitting out in the 60's and 70's for weeks. I figure with a surname like mine, I need people to be able to find me on the books name!

The point of all this you ask?

Well, none of these people really know me. They're strangers who have taken a cyber-acquaintance and extended a helping hand. It takes time to do links and images and all that. They've given me that time, put their own name out there, taken a gamble that I won't put egg on their face at some later date.

These cyber-friends have achieved something I've been struggling to do for weeks which is force Yahoo to see me as something other than another poet (or photographer, or -yes Jack -restaurant!) waffling on about damn ripples.

So thankyou guys. I shall repay you by extending that same helping hand to someone else when I can.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

No comment

Today I received a phone call from the Taupo Times arranging an interview for Thursday. I'm pleased the first interview is with them because, although they don't know it, they are intimately connected with Ripples on the Lake.

One of the characters works as a photographer for a Taupo newspaper and through all the numerous drafts of Ripples the paper was called the Taupo Times.

Unfortunately, when I asked the Taupo Times if I could use their name, although the local connections liked the idea, as it was explored further up the media-giant ladder, it slowly fell out of favour. So, about one rung below God, permission was refused.

Legal types are so cautious!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Can't help myself

Let's Google again ("like we did last summer", she croons, thereby giving away her age.)

One aspect that intrigues me is the massive difference in results between a Google search and a Yahoo search. A search on my name gets fairly similar results, but a search on the name of the book (and I'm deliberately not saying it here because I'm sure you've overdosed on it the last few days - bless your little hearts and I do thank you for that) trawls up totally different results.

A Google NZ pages search for book name has it at number 1, while a world-wide Google search has it at number 2, BUT a Yahoo search and the name of the book is out at a chilly 64 - that's seven pages out! Does anyone but a market-whoring author look seven pages out!

I'm embarrassed to tell you this but I did once look out into the 400's!

The book's name is a phrase that both photographers and poets use frequently - and bad poets fair thrash it to death! A wander through any search results will give so much water swirling in so many directions you'd swear you were in a washing machine bowl.

I'd like to strike up a friendly camaraderie with Yahoo because I know some of the other engines use Yahoo results in their own finding. Mama can never find the book title at all and always asks if I'm sure I don't mean Nipples on the Lake. Does this mean Mama would produce a result if I agreed with her!

So - I'm swimming valiantly through this flood tide of ripples, hoping that Yahoo will have the sense to realise that I'm talking about one specific thing and not simply inflicting more bad poetry on the world!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Ripples on the Lake cover a hit

Today was the final day of the "Big Three", a hunting competition of some status in my part of the world. This is why there was a collection of men and dogs stamping about outside my front door at some horrid hour this morning.

Men were talking, dogs were reacquainting themselves since their last meeting. Testosterone charged the air. I could even smell it above my marmite smeared toast.

Into this melee of male bonding I intruded and held up a poster of the Natalie Winter designed cover that HarperCollins had sent me during the week. First of all one man stopped talking, then another, then another, until the whole raggle taggle rat pack of them all stood staring at the poster.

Finally, a lone voice said, "Who's the blonde?"

So - the official verdict seemed to be that the author is a bore, the book as yet unread may or may not be a bore, but the cover of Ripples on the Lake is a hit right now.

I retrieved my precious poster from the grubby grasping hands and retreated inside in triumph. Guess me and Saffron Delaney showed them!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Gas station blues

It rained today. Quite a lot. A cloudburst above the gas station in fact.

Naturally, someone wanted their oil and water checked during this. With a staggering display of thoughtfulness they left their car parked so that the bonnet extended just outside the sheltered area and then wandered off into the little shop and stood with their back to me.

I coughed loudly, I waved a hand. The back did not respond.

Oh what the hell, I was already wet!

First thing I did when I got home, of course, (wet clothes and all) was rush to look at the new website to make sure nothing had fallen off during the day! Noticed a decent amount of crumbs so know there had been the odd visitor!

Yesterday I heard that my first interview is booked for some time next week. That's going to be fun! I worry more about the obligatory photo because I've got one of these faces that just doesn't photograph well.

To smile or not to smile - that is the question. Each choice is loaded with dire consequences. If I don't smile I look glum and sulky and sometimes downright suicidal. If I do smile, what feels like a perfectly pleasant smile turns into a drunken leer in the photo. Gads! What's a woman to do!

I quite enjoy parading myself under the lovely Saffron Delaney image. She manages to look mysterious and enticing when she doesn't smile. I bet no one comes up to her and pats her on the shoulder and says "are you all right, dear"?

I try not to snarl at them as I reply!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Website unveiled

Drum roll please!

Tonight is the official unveiling of my website. You can check it out if you're so inclined at Dawn Rotarangi.

Steady, steady, don't all rush off at once! Somethings bound to get broken with you all crashing through, slamming doors, tipping over the furniture! I built it myself you know. You have to handle it gently or something is likely to come off in your hand!

I'm hoping the search engines can pick it up before Ripples on the Lake is released but it might be a tight run race. The blog started to get picked up within days but that's quite different because you have the weight of Blogger behind you and lots of linking.

Anyway, if you find me writing in a strange stilted fashion full of key words and repeating the book's name every sentence - you'll know what I'm doing!

And thanks to Crabby at Crabby McSlacker's Guide to Fitness and Talia at NZ Reality TV for their feedback today as I did the final tinkering live. The "computer boffins" over at Absolute Write were immensely helpful and guided me through several heart pumping moments when bits were falling off faster than I could nail them back on.

There is still some fine tuning to be done but I think I'm happy for it to be "out there". If anyone should spot any typos, please, please, do let me know.

So, there's bubbly in the frig and a few cream filled apple donuts, help yourself.

Oh! There's no one here. Ah well, where's that cork screw!