Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Show day

Today was Write On Radio Show day, so over the lunch hour I had the pleasure of chatting to two lovely ladies from quite different perspectives in the writing world.

Alison Ballance is a wildlife documentary film-maker and writer, and her big and beautiful book Southern Alps is a finalist in the Montana New Zealand Books Awards in the environment category. Alison was a lively and fun guest and is so passionate about what she does she looked like she would burst out of her skin! The interview was great fun.

Pamela Gordon is the literary executor of the Janet Frame Literary Trust. As well as being executor, Pamela is Janet Frame's niece and was a great friend to her aunt. It was fascinating, as a recent convert to the writings of Janet Frame, to hear about her as a lively and cheekily humourous person, and to debunk some of those persistent myths. It was great timing to talk with Pamela as the works of Janet Frame have been in the media and the blogs recently.

One of the joys of doing the Write On radio show for the New Zealand Society of Authors has been the people I get to talk with, and the way it has expanded my horizons. Before the show I read very little New Zealand fiction (I know, I know) and so, due to my habit of liking to read a couple of the books by writers before I interview them (something to do with not wanting to come across as a complete idiot), I've discovered this amazing world of New Zealand writing.

So that is my message du jour - read New Zealand writers, people. Fiction and non-fiction. It's like that old NZ tourism slogan - Don't leave home till you've seen the country.

Buy local, enjoy.


The Paradoxical Cat said...


Thanks so much for your generosity in hosting the show. I look forward to hearing you interviewed!

Mary McCallum said...

Oh yes! Don't leave home til you've seen the country and all that. I appreciate your honesty Vanda -- many would have faked it ('Oh that old Janet Frame') In my bookshop I say to crime readers here's a NEW ZEALAND crime writer called Vanda Symon and the old ladies are gob-smacked. I leapt on of them in the bookshop the other day and said 'how did you find it?' And she looked a little nonplussed. Wrong old lady....