#YEAHNOIR

New Zealand’s First Crime Writing Festival - Rotorua Noir

RotoruaNoirPanel.jpg

The last weekend of January 2019 saw dozens of crime writers descend upon Rotorua for New Zealand’s first crime writing festival.

The brain child of Craig Sisterson and Grant Nicol, the festival, coined RotoruaNoir, not only attracted authors from around New Zealand, but from around the world. Extraordinary authors such as Alex Gray from Scotland, Lilja Sigurðardóttir from Iceland, and Kati Hiekkapelto from Finland attended, together with Michael Robotham from Australia and New Zealand’s favourite crime writer, Paul Cleave.

RotoruaNoir follows on from the successful Bloody Scotland crime writing festival, and NewcastleNoir. And it didn’t disappoint.

Sold out three months before the event, the programme was filled with panels covering all aspects of the crime genre - small town settings, overseas influences, historical accuracy, police procedurals, genre blending, debut authors, and the launch of a new thriller by Josh Pomare.

I was invited to be part of the Genre Blenders panel, together with Tina Shaw, Jude Knight, and our panel convener Darise Bennington. Sadly Brynn Kelly couldn’t join us due to ill health. They say preparation is the key to success, and Darise had us all on a Skype call before the event discussing how we wanted the panel to go, some of the questions she should ask and to talk over key points of our panel discussion. I cannot stress how valuable that Skype session was. If you are ever invited to convene a panel, for anything, take the time to prep your panel. It makes a world of difference!

The event was utterly amazing, and invaluable. The amount of work that must have gone on behind the scenes to make it happen must be unfathomable. Full credit to Craig and Grant for pulling off an extraordinary event.

Meeting some of my favourite authors, both local and overseas, was a highlight. Reconnecting with old friends was fabulous. And making new friendships the biggest takeaway of all.

When Craig and Grant have recovered from the 2019 Rotorua Noir festival, and draft up the next one, buy your tickets straight away, as this is one writing festival you won’t want to miss.

JPPomareBookLaunch.JPG

ALL PUBLICITY IS GOOD PUBLICITY...

It seems crazy that another year is almost over.

I’ve now been a published author for three and a half years. With four books under my belt, and another two almost ready for publication in the new year, it feels a whole lot longer!

This year I was asked to join the organising committee for the NZ Book Festival, which came with its own challenges and excitement. The Festival turned out to be my best one yet, sales wise. Due to another exhibitor pulling out at the last minute, I had to lengthen my stand to fill their space in addition to mine. I’m pretty sure that worked in my favour. I’m also a firm believer in engaging with the public when they walk through the door. That might have helped too.

The week before the NZ Book Festival, the NZ Herald ran a great article about the Festival and the independent author scene in New Zealand.

Herald+Article+2018.jpg

And I didn’t just appear in the NZ Herald this year. The New Zealand Society of Authors interviewed me about being more nimble, as an independent author, for this magazine. The article was a wonderful piece detailing the ability of independent authors to take control of their careers, and finances.

Society%2Bof%2BAuthors%2BInterview.jpg

After the Christmas break, and before school goes back in February, I’m also attending New Zealand’s first crime writing festival - Rotorua Noir. And I was honoured to be asked to sit on a panel at the festival - Genre Blenders. So I’ll be spending some of my beach time thinking about that panel and the extraordinary authors I’m appearing with. What an honour!

Genre Blenders Rotorua Noir.png
Best Seller

So although 2018 has been hectic, with the release of Doctor Perry, which hit #1 in the Horror Charts overseas; and appearing as a panellist at Murder In The Library; and helping with the arrangements for the NZ Book Festival; and still being a mother and a wife, and a volunteer at school, it doesn’t look like things are going to slow down in the new year!

All The Lessons

Adding to my plate this year, was the excitement of helping my husband launch his first non fiction book - 81 Lessons From The Sky. We quickly followed that with 101 Lessons From The Sky, and just last week, we launched 51 Lessons From The Sky. So he now has three books out, helping to ensure pilots make it home to their loved ones. I’m so proud to be able to help him launch these incredibly valuable resources.

So now I really just want to say, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to you all.

Take care. Drive safely. Exercise. Eat well. Read lots.

Love Kirsten xxx