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Friday, 22 March 2013

Mairangi Writers latest seminar 18 March 2013

Our group’s seminars are becoming a tradition that many local writers and readers look out for. Monday’s event, partly sponsored by NZ Book Month, drew a good crowd from the Shore and beyond to the Browns Bay RSA to hear Graeme Lay, Rae Roadley and Roger Hall talk about their work.

Graeme Lay kicked off proceedings with a spirited account of his historical publications and how he came to write them. As with many authors, access to historic family documents and photos provided inspiration for his first foray into biographical fiction with the story of Alice and Luigi in 2006. He has just published a novel about the life of Captain Cook, where he imagined Cook’s inner life and his interactions with shipmates. The Secret Life of James Cook is currently at the printer and should be on the shelves in a week or two.

Rae Roadley is an author, journalist, writing tutor and columnist whose memoir, Love at the End of the Road, published by Penguin, tells of her life after she fell in love with a farmer and swapped city living for life in an historic villa on a Kaipara Harbour peninsula. She has worked in public relations and has attended countless creative writing courses. She explained how she came to write the book and described her career as a rural writer.

Roger Hall was brave enough to share with the audience four of his plays that failed to live up to the successes of his other works. It became clear that the failures were generally due to circumstances beyond his control – undeserved poor reviews, badly-directed performances, and other bad luck events that can scupper any dramatic production. As a theatre person I found myself wondering how to right these injustices!

We may have a chance to help. Maureen Green is going around local schools to promote books by our group’s writers and is taking two of Roger Hall’s titles with her – The Three Little Pigs for the littlies, and A Way of Life – his play about NZ farming. We may yet be able to expunge those failures from the record!

(If you’re interested in ordering either title contact )

And if you have any suggestions or requests for future seminars, do leave a comment here. By next year we might feel like organising another one!


Bev Robitai
aka Officer in Charge

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