Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Going West: A Walk on the Dark Side

A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of participating in Going West, an annual books and writers festival held in West Auckland, which is known as a rugged, beautiful, and creative part of New Zealand's largest city. Along with interviewing Paul Thomas, the Godfather of New Zealand crime writing, onstage, I also enjoyed being part of the audience for events where the likes of Marianne Elliott (ZEN UNDER FIRE) and Sacha de Bazin (THE DAY SHE CRADLED ME) showcased their outstanding writing and shared their thoughts.

Going West is a fun, well-run festival with interesting events and a really nice, relaxed vibe. The organisers do a great job, and I'm very pleased to see that they're once again including some crime writing this year, with Tina Shaw in conversation with the marvellous Carole de Beu of The Women's Bookshop, about Shaw's latest book, THE CHILDREN'S POND. Shaw is a very experienced writer, with several novels and children's books under her belt already, since her acclaimed debut BIRDIE in 1996.

As I understand it, THE CHILDREN'S POND is the first time this talented writer has dipped her toe into the crime and mystery fiction waters. Her novel is set in Turangi, a small town in the central part of the North Island of New Zealand - an area that hasn't really been featured very much in local fiction - and sounds pretty exciting:

"Jessica Pollard has moved to Turangi to be near her son Reuben who is in prison there. While working at a trout-fishing lodge on the Tongariro River, Jessica slips into a relationship with a handsome, charming Maori lawyer. When the body of his troubled niece Chantelle is found in the Children's Pond, Jessica's own past as a teenager in prison comes back to haunt her. What really happened to her all those years ago? And what is the connection with Chantelle's death?"

Shaw will be speaking to Beu for the "A Walk on the Dark Side" event on 14 September 2014 at 2.20pm. You can read more about the event, and the Going West Festival, here. You can read more about Shaw and THE CHILDREN'S POND in a feature by Rebecca Barry Hill in the Weekend Herald here.

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