Catching up with Tanya Moir

Tania Moir at AWRF 2013Guess who I bumped into this morning? Canterbury’s own Tanya Moir who is here at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival 2013 to promote her new book, Anticipation.

Now, Tanya and I go back a long way. In another life, we wrote advertising copy together and I’ve followed her writing career with interest. I cheered when she published her first novel La Rochelle’s Road, an historical novel about British settlers on Banks Peninsula, and I was keen to hear what she was up to now.

PQ (Post Quake) Tanya moved to Auckland because her husband found work up here. She is living in a beach settlement half an hour out of the city where the surf crashes over a black sand beach. Auckland’s  west coast is a great place for old surfers and writers to hang out, a laid-back community tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. The couple plans to return to Christchurch permanently one day and they visit the region frequently as they still have a property on Banks Peninsula.

Tanya is currenAnticipation - Book Covertly working on a new novel. It’s a contemporary work and she feels she’s nearly half way through the process. When I ask if she’s happy in her work, she says everything else seems boring in comparison. She loves to write.

Her constant companion is a five month old Irish wolfhound puppy who is already the size of a well built Labrador. She says he’s crazy but a great companion.

Tanya will be appearing in History Repeating in the Limelight Room at the Aotea Centre on Sunday at 4pm. In this FREE session four writers will read sections from their work that reference the repeating of history.

If you’re lucky enough to be in Auckland, get along to the session. If not, place a hold on Anticipation at Christchurch City Libraries. Highly recommended contemporary New Zealand literature.

Canterbury’s finest exports – Mahy and Elliot

We have some great authors and illustrators that live in Canterbury; Gavin Bishop, Jenny Cooper, Bill Nagelkerke, Joanna Orwin and Helen Taylor, just to name a few.  By far, two of our most famous Canterbury authors and illustrators are Margaret Mahy and David Elliot.  Margaret lives over in Governors Bay and David is originally from Ashburton, but now lives in Dunedin.

Random House have just published a beautiful picture book written by Margaret Mahy and illustrated by David Elliot, called The Moon and Farmer McPhee.   Farmer McPhee wants nothing more than to take off his boots and get into bed after a long day of work, but the farm animals want to dance and sing in the moonlight.  He decides to shut all the animals in the barn, but when he gazes at the moon he finds “his crossness melting away” and realises that it’s time to stop frowning and start frisking.

David Elliot’s  illustrations are stunning and the pages seem to be lit up by moonlight, and Margaret Mahy’s amusing wordplay dances across the page with the animals.  The cut-out pages and fold-outs also add another dimension to the book.

To celebrate the release of The Moon and Farmer McPhee, we will be having a special farm themed Storytime on Thursday, 25 November at Central Library from 10:30-11am.  Come along for stories, rhymes, music and a chance to win a copy of the book.