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Auckland Writers Festival = Brilliant

For a word lover the Auckland Writers Festival is about as close to christmas as you can get. One brilliant mind after another, speaking to hoards of wide-eyed readers, flat-white in one hand, moleskin notebook in the other. For me …


22 Brilliant storytelling tips from Pixar

  The team at Pixar often spend years on a single script. This is heartening for any writer who has wondered whether their story carries any weight. Here are my top 5 picks from their 22 storytelling tips which I refer to …


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The Worst Gig of my Life

Back in the day I used to be a stand-up comic. The love affair lasted seven years. I performed around my home country of New Zealand, in London, and Johannesburg when I was backing packing and ran out of money. Talk …



RIP Martin Crowe

My sister used to have Magnum PI on her wall. I had Martin Crowe. For years I watched New Zealand’s greatest batsman fascinate fan and opponent. I was 12 when I met Martin and his brother Jeff at the Basin Reserve. …



A Kiwi Shearing Shed

The shearing shed is quiet, dark and lifeless. There is a faint whiff of sheep dung and human sweat. A few hours ago this wasn’t the case. Four men arrive at the office prepared for banter, repetition and savouries. Each …


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Where I get my ideas from

It’s the age old question. Neil Gaiman says he finds his down the back of the garden in a box in a shed. I find if I cram my head with weird books, songs and conversation an idea will eventually …


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Ground Control to Major Tom

My daughter Sophie was 2 months old when my Ellerslie neighbour said, ‘Fuck it, let’s go to the Cake Tin and see Bowie’ On that night it rained so much the Manawatu was flooded for weeks after. Bowie was the …


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