I was born in Christchurch New Zealand in 1959 and I am currently resident on the Kapiti Coast just north of New Zealand's capital Wellington. I am a former journalist previously employed at the New Zealand Press Association where I was a sub editor and reporter. I have studied papers in Renaissance Literature and Twentieth Century Literature at Victoria University, Wellington.
I have also spent a number of years as a part-time song writer and rock musician and in the early 1990s recorded an album of original music with Kiwi Pacific Records.
I have had short fiction published in literary fiction magazines such as Landfall, Takahe and Bravado. I live close to the coast and enjoy walking in the summer sunshine on the beach.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The answer to this changes with time and circumstances but some of the books that have influenced me include; To The LIghthouse by Virginia Woolf which I liked because of its unusual style and its insight into its characters' minds. Middlemarch by George Elliot, a great epic that has great characterization and a fascinating plot. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, a wry and ironic style merged with a good narrative as well as commentary on the foibles and follies of the social constructs of the time. You can't go wrong writing about the search for love and money! Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, an in depth look at the emerging artist and his or her struggles to create their art or literature within a conformist and domineering society. The Collected Stories of Katherine Mansfield - she is a master of the short story and a pioneer of its modern form and I come back to this book often for lessons and inspiration.
What do you read for pleasure?
For pleasure I mostly read literary fiction. That is, fiction that is generally written in a style of gritty social realism that hopefully has something to say about society and the human condition. If it's poetically and artfully written so much the better. I also enjoy the occasional well written science fiction or speculative work. I also read some non-fiction such as biographies and books on current events. I regularly read literary fiction journals such as Landfall (Otago University Press, Dunedin) and Sport (Victoria University Press, Wellington) for their short fiction, poetry, essays and reviews.
A son returns to the farm and his domineering father; a woman facing redundancy recalls an affair and wonders what might have been; a landlord steels herself to evict a poor tenant; a journalist interviews his hero and learns that the great are only human. Twelve short stories where a range of characters struggle to find connection and meaning in their lives.