Auckland SceneIn less that two weeks I’m winging my way north to attend the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival. I’ve been reading like crazy, writing like mad and have already started throwing things into my suitcase – though I’ll have to stop hurling in books if I don’t want to be charged for excess baggage.

I’m the newbie on our team of intrepid library reporters. I was due to attend the Christchurch Writers Festival before, but old Bucky put paid to that (twice). This time I’m going to get there!

I love New Zealand books and I’m looking forward to listening to some of my favourite authors. I hope to interview one or two.

At this stage I may just be lucky enough to meet artist, Dick Frizzell. It will be a highlight for me as I’m a great fan of his work and he has inspired my own painting.  His ‘Mickey to Tiki’ and the Four Square Man series have become Kiwi art icons. I enjoyed reading Dick Frizzell – the Painter as it gave me insight into Dick’s career and stylistic development.

His latest work It’s all about the image is an intriguing selection of New Zealand art you don’t see in typical art publications. I’d like to ask Dick why he selected the image of two kettles to represent himself in this book. He doesn’t give any clues. Keep watching the blog and I’ll see if I can find out.

There seems to be a theme of shadows running through my selection of books. These shadows take many forms – the shadow cast by the candle in Colin McCahon’s ‘A Candle in a Dark Room’ (1940) selected by Dick Frizzell; the shadow of a past love affair that haunts the main character in Fiona Kidman‘s short story The Italian Boy; the shadow of New Zealand’s colonial past in Witi Ihimaera’s The Parihaka Woman; the shadowy figure striding across the cover of Stella Rimington’s Rip Tide, and Emily Perkins’ just-to-be-released novel The Forrests which I only know about through the shadow of book reviews.

Shadowing the authors in Auckland is going to be a wonderful experience. I’ll be writing up my experiences several times a day so keep watching the blog. It will be the closest thing to being there.