Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Surrendering to the Bubbly

Surrender, the winning novel in the NZSA Pindar Publishing prize celebrated its arrival on the shelves with a double launch last week: firstly on Tuesday 21 September in Wellington, and then on Thursday 23 September in Auckland.

The Wellington launch, notable because it’s Malane’s home town and where her novel is set, took place at the Lampton Quay Borders, with many of Malane’s family making the trip to take part in the celebrations, and a great number of those present getting into the spirit by purchasing a book and getting it signed on the night.

Author Donna Malane was also presented with flowers by NZSA President Tony Simpson, and gave a speech thanking everyone involved in the process of getting the book out.

The Auckland launch took place at Whitcoulls Queen Street. One of the masterminds behind the award, NZSA CEO Maggie Tarver, said in her speech that she is always on the look out for “ideas and opportunities to develop new awards for writers.”

“The NZSA/Pindar Prize is for me a step towards raising the profile of New Zealand fiction. This is an area that we recognise needs more promotion and we hope that the publicity surrounding this award will have spin offs for other New Zealand authors of fiction,” she added.

Judge Graeme Lay spoke of the experience of finding a winner among the 508 sample chapters they received. “It was an intriguing experience. The standard of writing was excellent overall, and suggested many of the entrants were published writers,” he said.

The judges narrowed it down to five finalists, and read the full manuscripts. “When the judges met, our decision was unanimous: the most consistently impressive of the five finalists was a crime novel set in Wellington,” said Lay. “From the first reading of Donna’s sample pages, her writing gripped me, as it did the other judges. The central character, Diane Rowe, was both tough and tender, the events swirling about her were sinister but contained flashes of dark humour.

“The standard of writing in Surrender is uniformly high, the ending very affecting. As all novel writers know, it’s relatively straightforward to begin a novel; the really hard part is ending it. And the ending of Surrender is superbly written.”

Surrender is on sale in Whitcoulls and Borders stores around New Zealand, and is being promoted in the New Zealand Herald, with half price vouchers until 16 October.

Photo below shows Graeme Lay, author Donna Malane, and Mia Yardley from Pindar.

No comments: