I’ve been on tour promoting Harbouring these last few weeks. First a couple of appearances at the large Auckland Writers’ Festival and then, at the other end of the scale but just as exciting, at the Central Hawkes Bay Festival. My gig was at the amazing Gwavas Homestead out in the country far from towns. Gwavas is a grand mansion which has been in the same family since it was built. I wandered – and got lost – in the large area of woodland, had a wonderful meal with owners Phil and Stu and  slept the night in a majestic four-poster bed.

In the morning the audience came from far and wide, drove up the curving driveway past flowering rhododendrons, then after coffee and scones in the dining room, we had the session in the huge panelled entrance hall, the beautiful stairway as background, and antlered deer watching from the walls.

I loved both experiences – Auckland and Gwavas. It’s good for us solitary writers to have our imaginative batteries charged now and then.

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