The journey towards the destination of a published novel has been a long one. But much of it has been very interesting and pleasurable. The decision to write the book could be said to be impetuous in that one wet winter’s day in 2013 I was in the local library and started to write a rough outline of a new storyline for a book. I didn’t have any clear intention that it would end up as a novel length story but the words seemed to flow freely and easily. I persisted over a few weeks and sat back to review my scribblings.
In addition to the writing I had created up to that date, I also had a wealth of material from visits to China and Taiwan as well as earlier screenplays I had written of a different story. With these reviewed and with a clear vision in mind I took up the challenge to write a first draft novel. Now and then I would fall into a hole of muddled thinking but I tenaciously hauled myself up out of the mess and typed onwards to a conclusion for the adventure.
It was with the excellent advice of my editor, Helen Alcock, that I honed and fine tuned the story to that which is now published. My thanks and gratitude go out to her. But this all begs the questions why on earth do it and who am I to presume I had anything interesting to say? I can answer the first question but the second one is up to the reader to decide for themselves.
I was born in Wellington, New Zealand but went to school in Whanganui. I became a voracious reader from an early age and would read anything that was available. In a way this served me in good stead when I began reading law at Victoria University in Wellington. Law text books are relatively easy to understand. I cannot say the same always applied to the conflicting judgments in some case law we studied. But that was the sport in it. It was never to reach a clear conclusion because law follows society and many things in life are not simple or clear cut. Storytelling sometimes exploits that fact to good effect.
With a newly minted Master of Laws (Hons) degree from Victoria University of Wellington in hand and a couple of years practical legal experience it was off to London to gain a Master of Laws Degree from the London School of Economics which is part of the University of London. A few years later and I started work in Auckland as a lawyer and continued in that career for over 20 years.
Looking back over the last 35 years, there have been key turning points in my career that have resulted in changing direction, learning new skills and having new adventures. There have been successes and failures, wins and losses, tragedies and the occasional minor triumph along the way, all of which now defines me, the author.
I started in general conveyancing, then commercial property and commercial contract work before specializing in structured finance and entertainment law. For nearly ten years I spent significant amounts of time working in Los Angeles and to a lesser extent, London and New York on feature film projects.
After more than twenty years of legal practice I moved into investment banking for two years and started two businesses. The first was Olivado, an avocado oil producer and distributor which continues to grow. The second was Film Factory New Zealand Limited, a film and television production services company, that for seven years serviced American film studios in New Zealand. Over five years I travelled to China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan building new contacts and gaining insight into co-production potential with film makers in those countries.
At the same time I saw how cross border stories could be told, inter-weaving the strands of different cultures and finding the similarities and connections between them. What struck me about Aboriginal Taiwan was the similarity of some mythologies to New Zealand Maori stories. The greater Pacific oceanic peoples share many things including traditions in tattooing, wood carving, and constructing oceanic voyaging canoes. Also their languages derive from the same root language. I posed a question to myself. What if some of these myths or stories were real? And secondly, what if they impacted on the present? From those two questions I began writing what I hope is now a polished piece of entertainment for you, the reader. I have tried to include informative material into the book to guide the reader on the journey of the story and I hope it is helpful.
Any shortcomings, unintended errors and mistakes in the book are entirely my responsibility but despite these, I sincerely wish for those reading the book to derive, at least for a short time, an escape from the real world and a dalliance into a fanciful world of adventure.
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