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Chorizo Book Fair, Whanganui Literary Festival 2015

(Photo above courtesy of Beverley Sinclair)

The Whanganui Literary Festival has been running since 2006. This year I appeared at one of the opening fringe events, the Chorizo Book Fair. It has been two years since I released Redeeming Brother Murrihy and attended markets as part of my “Murrihy River Tour”. It was a pleasure to be in Whanganui again, one of the principal settings of the novel. My aim was to sell and sign books and meet readers and writers. In the end, I accomplished more than that.

Joan Rosier-Jones & Tangerine Publications
Antony Millen with Joan Rosier-Jones and Gayelene Holly from Tangerine Publications, Chorizo Book Fair, Whanganui Literary Festival 2015

One of the chief organisers of the fair is Joan Rosier-Jones. When I visited the River Traders Market  two years ago, multiple people told me I should contact Joan about my writing. It was a pleasure to meet her. Joan is the author of several novels including Yes and Waiting for Elizabeth. She is also a past president of the New Zealand Society of Authors and is currently involved with Tangerine Publications who were also selling books at the fair.

The Last SanctuaryI was looking forward to meeting another of Tangerine’s authors, PS Mokha, who has completed two books in his YA fantasy series. Prabh is also a teacher so we had a good conversation about balancing writing with work and family. I also managed to catch up with Chris Moisa, artist and writer of the review of Redeeming Brother Murrihy in the River City Press.

As I had hoped, there was quite a bit of interest in Redeeming Brother Murrihy  and I sold several copies along with almost as many copies of Te KauhangaI was delighted to meet Valerie Cowan who shared some pages about James K Baxter from her beautiful book about Joan Bullock Morrell, sculptor. In the story, Cowan recounts Morrell’s meeting with Baxter in order to sculpt a bronze bust. Valerie Cowan

After the fair was over, I followed the advice of several people that morning and dropped around to Paige’s Book Gallery. I met Lesley, who graciously accepted copies of my novels to sell in their shop. In addition, I was amazed to see Paige’s also displays the Baxter bust I had just read about in Cowan’s book.

Baxter Bust
Joan Bullock Morrell’s sculpture of James K Baxter, Paige’s Book Gallery, Whanganui

So, it was a highly productive trip and a pleasure to participate in the Whanganui Literary Festival 2015. I hope to also place copies of Redeeming Brother Murrihy in the libraries in Whanganui so that as many people from the region can have a chance to read it.

One lovely side note to cap my weekend:

Chorizo Book Fair
Antony Millen’s novels, ‘Redeeming Brother Murrihy’ and ‘Te Kauhanga’ along with ‘Alphabetica’, the essays of AD Thomas. Chorizo Book Fair, Whanganui Literary Festival 2015

Returning home, buzzing from my literary diversions, I learned that my short story, The Homeless Men of Mahuika, will be published in Issue #4 of Headland, an exciting new electronic journal showcasing established and emerging literary voices from New Zealand and around the world.

A terrific weekend.

Riverside Whanganui
View of Drurie Hill, Riverside in Whanganui
St Mary's Whanganui
On my way to the fair, I swung by one of the significant locations in ‘Murrihy’, St Mary’s Church on Guyton Street.

Antony Millen is a Canadian living and writing in New Zealand. He is the author of three novels: Redeeming Brother Murrihy, Te Kauhanga and The Chain.

Smashwords Cover Te_Kauhanga_Cover_for_Kindle (2)The_Chain_Cover_for_Kindle

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