Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
A dramatic new novel from one New Zealand’s favourite novelists
The Cloud Leopard’s Daughter
gold fields of Central Otago, some make a fortune, some make enemies and others
novel, The Cloud Leopard’s Daughter, Deborah Challinor returns to the
territory of her bestselling New Zealand novels, Kitty and Amber in her new
tale of adventure. Set in 1863, the story begins on the Otago gold fields where
the daughter of a Chinese Tong Master is kidnapped and whisked off to China and
a forced marriage.
impeccable research for The Cloud Leopard’s Daughter shores up her
reputation as New Zealand’s foremost author of historical fiction. For
her Convicts series set in Sydney in the 1830s, she went as far as dressing up
in period costume to get a feel for how it felt to walk around The Rocks in
Sydney in a boots and a long dress, only to find herself accosted by tourists
and requests for photographs.
‘This sort of research all adds up,’ says
Deborah. ‘This sort of ‘looking’ contributes colour and, I hope, a certain
extra layer of veracity and historical richness to a novel. I sometimes wonder
if I’d keep writing books if I couldn’t go walking around the Rocks in costume,
hanging over the side of tall ships being seasick, or down underground mines
scared rigid by claustrophobia, or striding across old battlefields at the head
of ghost battalions. In fact, I don’t think I
previously novel, Tattooed Heart was a #1 bestseller in New Zealand in
has a PhD in New Zealand military history, and is the author of fourteen
(right) best selling novels& two non fiction titles. Her route to becoming a full-time
writer was accidental. She did a PhD in military history because she
didn’t really want a job. One of her university supervisors described her
thesis as really readable, so she send a copy of a publisher, came away with a
book deal and a writing career spanning 15 years and 14 novels.
books are now sold in Australia, UK, Germany, Russia, Czech Republic and New
Zealand. She lives in Hamilton with her husband and a nervous cat called Gus.