This week Jack Hartley filled me in on why he writes Young Adult fiction and what it means to him.
Jack, what motivated you to write this novel?
I started writing this text as a screenplay when I was 17. I was frustrated because I couldn’t find a book that was written from a guy’s perspective, a genuine voice, so I decided that I would be the one to attempt to do that.
Describe this book.
This book has drama, mystery and romance components. It’s also about mental health and what that can look like for a young person. The main character Judd is having what you could say was an existential crisis. He absorbs himself in drawing to possibly escape the reality of his life in which his parents who are constantly fighting.
I enjoy classics like Romeo and Juliet, I like love stories but love stories that don’t necessarily have happy endings. Happy endings are not always realistic. I like James Franco and his short stories because they are weird and messed up. But tell the truth of what it’s like to be young.
In your busy life how do you find time to write?
It took me five years to write the screenplay of All the other days. When I finished my Psychology degree in 2016, I went back to complete my teaching degree last year. This made me miserable so I left teachers college and I spent the next six weeks writing full time to adapt the screenplay into a novel. My Psychology degree helped me immensely in my character development for this novel.
Are you working on anything else?
Yes I am writing two more books at the moment, one of them is about young people and mental health and is focused on actions shaping your life when you are young. The other is a time travelling romance mystery.
Have you got any advice for new writers who are wanting to be published?
Just go for it. Writing is something if you’re passionate about you’ll do regardless of getting published. If you get published then that’s awesome, but don’t let that be the thing that stops you from writing or not.
Jack was interviewed by Greta Christie, Youth Librarian at Tūranga
This wooden house was built in the 1850s for the Hon. J. C. Watts Russell, a prominent early settler. It changed hands several times and in 1910 was owned by the Countess Reina Ruys Fortega de Fresnedo. The Free Lance newspaper of 5 October 1907 tells us that she is a lady of ‘Spanish birth and estates’ and that she is a ‘countess by her own inheritance’. In 1907 she was making her first trip to the colonies, having done much travelling in the Old World.
The Countess is something of a mysterious figure and I haven’t (so far) been able to find out much about her, such as where she came from and what happened to her after the fire. However, the New Zealand Truth, a good old fashioned scandal rag, reveals that she was sued by her gardener in early 1910 for non payment of wages. (What ever did we do before Papers Past?)
Reports on the Press and the Lyttelton Times, both on 23 August provide quite a lot of detail abut the fire. The Countess was away in Australia, leaving the caretaker, Mr H. J. Croker as the only occupant. He escaped, but rather stupidly went back in the retrieve his gold watch (do not do this!) Thankfully the house was insured (for £2000) but the contents – which included some splendid furniture, silverware, and a new piano and pianola – weren’t.
Fortunately the cats and dogs managed to save themselves, but sadly a number of guinea pigs and canaries were not so fortunate. There were also two caged parrots (or possibly cockatoos). The fire seems to have destroyed or melted the cage and one of the parrots didn’t make it, but the other one did, albeit in a singed condition.
The Press reports that the ‘origin of the conflagration is a mystery’ but the Lyttelton Times suggests that there could have been sinister motives afoot:
Mr Crocker states that his opinion that the fire was willfully started is strengthened by the fact that some months ago the Countess received an anonymous letter stating that she would see Ilam burnt down.
Might this possibly be a case of a disgruntled gardener? I’m presuming that there must have been some kind of inquest, but I’m yet to track that down…
Do you know anything more about this fire or the mysterious Countess Fresnedo?
Diwali Indian Festival of Lights in Cathedral Square – Saturday 3 November and Sunday 4 November, 2pm to 9pm
Stage performances start at 5pm
Celebrate the Indian festival of Diwali with fabulous food and fun, in the heart of Christchurch. There will be Indian arts and crafts stalls and colourful classical and modern stage performances. The most popular of all Hindu festivals, Diwali is dedicated to the goddess Kali in Bengal and to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, in the rest of India. As with several other festivals, Diwali is associated with one of the stories about the destruction of evil by God in one of his many manifestations. In Jainism, where the festival is also known as Mahavira Nirvana, Diwali celebrates the attainment of Nirvana by Lord Mahavira. Diwali also marks the start of the Hindu New Year; goddess Lakshmi is therefore thanked on this day and everyone prays for a good year ahead. In many parts of India, it is the homecoming of King Rama of Ayodhya after a 14-year exile in the forest. The people of his kingdom welcomed Rama by lighting rows (avali) of lamps (deepa), thus its name, Deepawali, simply shortened to Diwali.
Diwali concert and workshop at Tūranga – Sunday 11 November 11am to 12.30pm
Celebrate Diwali with acclaimed local group Revathi Performing Arts. Enjoy a demonstration of Bharathanatyam, the most popular South Indian Classical Dance, then participate in a workshop. Bharathanatyam originated in the temples of South India thousands of years ago. Started as part of daily worship of the temple deity, this art form has evolved over the years to its current form. Free, no bookings required. TSB Space, Hapori | Community, Level 1, Tūranga
What is Diwali?
Diwali or dīpāvali, the festival of lights, is traditionally celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs with the rising of the new moon at the end of the month, Ashvin. However, in a country as diverse as India, where people from many different faiths live side by side, the festival is not limited to one particular faith for it represents the victory of light over darkness and the triumph of wisdom over ignorance. Throughout cities and villages the darkness will be symbolically turned back. Clay lamps (diya) will be lit in homes and shops, fireworks will be released into the sky and the streets will be filled with music. Read more in Simon’s blog post about Diwali.
Tūranga opened on Friday 12 October 2018. We did a bit of a historical re-enactment with the Tūranga staff.
Back in 1982, staff were moving into their fab new digs on Gloucester Street. In 2013, librarians were clearing out stuff from their old workplaces in the Central Library. In 2018, Tūranga staff were excited about opening to the public.
Saturday 27th October is New Zealand Bookshop Day. Hurrah for the bookshop! There will be events, great deals on books and competitions too.
What: Author talks and readings, as well as an evening literary quiz.
Author talk with Dr Simon Pollard at 10.30am (Simon is a spider biologist and award-winning author of The Genius of Bugs). Free event, activity sheets provided.
The Great Scorpio Lit Quiz at 6.30pm ($80 per table, bookings required).
Scorpio Books will also be running a campaign to encourage customers who make a purchase on NZ Bookshop Day to nominate a Christchurch school of their choice. Nominated schools will receive a copy of Aotearoa, Gavin Bishop’s multiple-award-winning, richly illustrated visual history of New Zealand. Scorpio Books will be donating 15% of their sales on the day towards this campaign. All nominated schools will also go in the draw to win a prize pack of New Zealand children’s books, specially selected by Scorpio staff. With support from RDU98.5FM.
Now I love working in a library. For just under forty hours a week I am surrounded by books: what more could a bibliophile want? Books have existed in one form or another since the advent of the written word. These were the days of the clay tablet, in the 3000’s BC. And we have them in abundance (books, not clay tablets).
So it follows that I also have a tender spot for the old bookshop. For whilst I relish bringing books home from the library, there are some that I don’t much want to take back. The library may frown upon me keeping their books indefinitely, but if I’ve really fallen for one, I simply must own my own copy. I put this down to nostalgia, wanting to show off to house guests how well read I am and financial impulsivity…I’m woman so naturally when that magical word ‘SALE’ pops up out comes the credit card. That week when Scorpio Books upped sticks and had their big moving sale was a good week for me and my bookshelf.
Thankfully we do have plenty of exceptional, local, well established bookshops here in Christchurch. They come in all sorts. Old, modern, cosy, expansive, dusty, sterile…
There are the chain bookshops (seem more like gift shops to me), the independent and specialist bookshops, and of course the beloved secondhand bookshops where you can find all manner of out-of-print, sentimental gems. I still cherish my older editions of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five; I get a lot more enjoyment from seeing them on my bookshelf than if they were sparkling and new (or, god forbid, those treacherous 21st Century-ified editions). Oh, and there’s the online bookshop too. A bottomless pit where a person like me can inexplicably lose hours of life.
Aside: There was one aforementioned chain bookshop I did very much enjoy spending time in – Borders – but we know how that turned out. I could spend hours in Borders with my dad, perusing the ancient history/mythology section. Alas.
Mythology offering: witty Stephen Fry’s latest, Mythos
Here are a few of the local Canterbury bookshops – new and secondhand – where you might just find your inner peace, and something to add to your permanent collection.
Local Christchurch Bookshops
Scorpio Books – after residing on Riccarton Road for a while, plus a stint at the container mall, they have now settled at the BNZ Centre in the CBD. They are a friendly bunch, and if they don’t have exactly what you’re after then they seem happy enough to order it in. Scorpio Books is a place where I must always take my time. Great range!
UBS – University of Canterbury Bookshop. Anyone can shop here! They have a good selection of books, at surprisingly palatable prices (excluding textbooks, eek). While you are there, be sure to visit one of the University libraries. They are trialing free membership to Canterbury residents until the end of the year (and hopefully beyond).
Piccadilly Books – situated in Avonhead Mall, they have an impressive magazine selection and friendly staff.
Christian Superstore – oh boy, I might need a good dousing in holy water before stepping here. They are a large bookshop with an expansive array of Christian material. They supply churches around the country and in the Cook Islands too.
Secondhand Bookshops That are Far From Second Rate
Smith’s Bookshop – Their old shop was destroyed in the earthquakes but they have a new permanent home in the Tannery (a very hip place where, by the way, you may also find some amazing pastries). They stock rare books; antiquarian books; secondhand books; new books; magazines and art supplies! My kind of place. Here you will find plenty of local content and first editions. Just you try not to sneeze.
Dove Bookshop – in Bishopdale Mall, New Brighton Mall and Harewood Road. I have unearthed some nice pre-loved finds in here.
The Chertsey Bookbarn – it’s a bookshop in a barn and it’s in the middle of nowhere…well in Chertsey, just after the Rakaia River and right before you hit Ashburton. But you will not regret the petrol spent. Imagine: you arrive to find a dimly lit, relatively secluded barn. You step inside – tall shelves tower above, brimming with books- and as you move forward the narrow passage closes in and you find yourself amidst a veritable labyrinth…of books. Where was the exit again? You don’t know and don’t care. Are those footsteps you hear from behind? Is it a scene from a horror film? A dream?
My Pick of the Online Bookshops
The Children’s Bookshop – a smaller online bookstore with material aimed at children and young adults. There is also a handy learning resources section with books on foreign languages, te reo, language, vocabulary and maths.
Mighty Ape – a NZ owned online bookshop operating out of their distribution centre in Auckland, with really fast shipping (same day shipping offered to most of the major cities).
Bookhaven – another NZ online bookshop, selling used books. They do have a small shop in Wellington but most of their stock is contained in warehouses around the country.
Abebooks – but you must be patient. Sourced from somewhat further afield, your order will likely be coming from the US or UK! Abebooks searches the catalogues of independent bookshops worldwide, to find great deals. I have often found exactly what I want on here, and at good prices too. They list both new and used titles, and some shops offer free shipping. In fact this is a great place to get textbooks from, just be somewhat organised about it and don’t wait until the last minute.
Book Depository – an international online bookshop, with free delivery and oftentimes great discounts.
And should all else fail, your local library could probably get a copy 😉
Here are some photographs of Christchurch bookshops gone by, for reminiscences.
Tūranga – your new central library – opens this weekend! We’ve got music from The Breeze and More FM, food trucks, and a walk-through of five floors filled with activities, new technology, and, of course, books!
There’s plenty more exciting things happening in the city so we’ve made a list of other places for you to check out to ensure that you have an awesome weekend.
Christchurch Art Gallery
Check out Wall to Wall a special exhibition where you’re invited to paint on the walls. That’s right! You can paint on the walls! All materials are provided so head on down and add your mark. The Yellow Moon exhibition, where all the art is yellow, is also a lot of fun and crocheters are invited to add a ‘crater’ to the yarn moon. Those driving in the city will be interested to know that the Art Gallery carpark has the first hour free.
Just a short walk from the library you’ll find this amazing playground on the banks of the Avon River. The BBQ and picnic area is perfect for a special lunch out. The playground features a huge jungle gym, several slides, and a flying fox big enough for grown-ups. Down by the river you might even spot an eel! Keep an eye out for the swallows and fantails darting around the riverbank.
Right across from the library you’ll find Little Andromeda, a pop-up venue hosting 75+ shows during October and November. The line-up includes live music, theatre, comedy, and dance. Something for everyone! Visit any time – there’s lot of free and reasonably priced shows almost every afternoon and evening. There’s food trucks in the courtyard which makes it a beautiful spot to just hang out. Little Andromeda will be holding events as part of FoUNd: Festival of the (Un)dead and FESTA.
Rollickin’ Gelato is handily located in both New Regent Street and the Arts Centre! Delicious and ever-changing flavours, plus some truly indulgent desserts. Dairy-free options available.
For something a bit different, give Crate Escape a go. You and your friends are locked in a room full of hidden clues and puzzles. Your goal is to solve all the puzzles within an hour and escape!
If you’re using the Lichfield Street Carpark (first hour free), take the Plymouth Lane exit and you’ll pop out onto Cashel Street and find the BNZ Centre. These laneways offer a host of lunch options. Our top pick is Wok It To Me and their bubble waffles. You’ll also find Scorpio Books here for when you just can’t wait for that library hold!
If you’re planning on parking at the Crossing ($2 for 2 hours) have a look around before you head to the library. The Crossing is home to several eateries such as Cookai – whose sushi train is pretty exciting – and Piki Poke. The Crossing is also a fashion hub where you’ll find brands like Witchery and Country Road. Makeup lovers will enjoy the NYX store and are only a short walk from Mecca Maxima and Ballentyne’s.
Christchurch’s new entertainment centre features a floor of eateries with unique dining areas and a state-of-the-art Hoyt’s cinemas upstairs. Hoyts Entx has comfy recliner chairs in all cinemas as well as Xtremescreen and LUX options for the serious movie-goer.
Classics and History fans will love the Teece Museum at the Arts Centre. The current exhibition, ‘Beyond the Grave’, explores the subject of death in ancient Greek and Roman culture through the items they left behind. It may be a little museum but the artefacts are always wonderfully presented and there’s activities to keep younger visitors busy. The large mosaic of a dog is sure to delight! For those keen to know more about Ancient Rome and Greece, head along to the free talks being held as part of Beca Heritage Week and FESTA.
On Saturday 13th October, the Monster Spring Clean Market will be in Market Square and The Gym from 9am to 2pm. The stallholders are having a spring clean of their craft cupboards and studios so expect to find one-off items, craft supplies, vintage treasures, and discounted seconds.
We love FESTA! This Labour weekend “vibrant biennial celebration of urban creativity and community” is one of Ōtautahi’s most cool and unique events. It’s food for the mind, eyes, and soul. That is particularly apt in 2018 as FESTA gets foody – FESTA 2018 is all about architecture, design – and food. Contribute to the Pledgeme FESTA2018 by midday today (Thursday 27 September) and you’ll help the traditional Saturday evening mega-event street party FEASTA! be the best yet.
There are more than 55 events planned for FESTA 2018, here are some of my picks:
The big FREE street party is on Saturday 20 October from 5 to 11pm. It’s a FESTA tradition to activate different parts of the city, and this time Mollett Street (which runs between Colombo Street and Durham Street South) is the place to be.
There will be the stunning installations we’ve come to love at the FESTA party. The 2018 works have been created by more than 130 design and architecture students from across Australia and New Zealand, as well as NZIA and NZILA Canterbury branch members, in collaboration with Creative Director Barnaby Bennett. There will be loads of whānau fun, music, performances, art, markets, and plenty of yummy delights. One of the excellent initiatives on the night is Kono for Kai: 100 hand woven harakeke kono (small food baskets) filled with native plant seedlings and seeds will be available to the public in exchange for a koha of kai (non-perishable goods only please). All koha received will be gifted to a community group for distribution to those in need in the community. Read all about it.
FESTA at Tūranga
Ka rawe! Your new central library Tūranga will be open when FESTA is on, and it is the venue for:
Saturday 20 October and Sunday 21 October 1 to 4pm; Monday 22 October (Labour Day), 10am to 1pm at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū
Pop in to this drop-in session and make a cityscape out of food! Use the colourful clay provided to sculpt a house or a building in the shape of fruit and vegetables and add it to the map. Suitable for children aged 7+. FREE
Sunday 21 October 6pm to 7.30pm. Meet at Victoria Square. FREE.
Take a trip back in time and explore our culinary past. Join Nik Mavromatis as he hosts a guided walking tour around central Christchurch, starting with Ōtautahi’s oldest market square. Nik then takes you to former hospitality sites and reminisces over the cafes, bars and restaurants that were previously part of the fabric of our city.
This is a mere taster, visit the FESTA 2018 to explore all the events on offer.
You can become part of Christchurch’s own River of Words.
River of Words is a ten metre wide installation in the South Quad of the Arts Centre, part of the House of Travel Botanic D’Lights (6pm to 9pm from Wednesday 8 August to Sunday 12 August). It is an interactive animation featuring a flow of words in six languages, and representing the changing nature of the people of Christchurch. Your shadow becomes a space for animations related to the words. We dived into the river last night, and had a ball – moving around, shining torches, and becoming part of the art.
Once he had the words and kupu, John explored game design and technology to see how it might work. The project started out as a mystery technically, but due to working with colleagues and experts like Spectrum Lighting, his knowledge grew exponentially. Using the programme Isadora (known for its use in theatre lighting and effects), vector animation, and security cameras, he came to a technical solution that brings his vision to life:
Christchurch has been through many painful experiences in the last few years, both personal to the people, who are the city’s lifeblood and to the buildings and roads that make up the city.
Even though the infrastructure of the city was damaged, the people of Christchurch have moved and flowed through its changes adapting and embracing its reinvention, though the process has been slow and stressful.
The inhabitants of this city are part of a human river, are always moving and flowing in this, our city. Each person is a part of the changes to the landscape of the city, and we are all linked by the words that we share about the city. These words bond us together. I have asked for people in the city, my friends and neighbours to lend me words that represent Christchurch, the people the cultures and the languages of the city. The words in the river represent the ever-flowing people in our city. The words within each person represent their humanity and resilience as we navigate through our lives in this city.
John says “I think people truly love Christchurch”. He’s right, and going into the River of Words feels like a warm embrace of Ōtautahi.
Creating this work is his way of giving something back to the community. It’s the antithesis of art as a commodity – this is art that can’t be bought. It is art for everyone to experience and enjoy.
River of Words – The Future
River of Words will carry on as a legacy piece from the House of Travel Botanic D’Lights. This 18 metre wide version will be installed for six months at 110 Cashel Street, and projected on to the vacant wall of 112 Cashel Street. This project is part of the Enliven Places programme, completed in partnership with the events team and Ara with the aim of enhancing the night time experience in Christchurch through innovative lighting.
John Maillard has exhibited in galleries around New Zealand and the United Kingdom for over three decades. John has specialised in documenting people and landscapes. For the past sixteen years John has been studying New Zealand landscapes and in particular the culture of rural New Zealand, assembling a body of work which will reflect his love for this country.
He has published or collaborated in four books on native plants, New Zealand landscapes and cultural history. John is working on a new book documenting the location of native habitat for migrating birds from the Alps to the ocean with Canterbury University Press.
John has worked as a photographer in many countries around the world, notably, Gambia and west Africa, the United States and Europe.
John’s previous works at Botanic Night of D’Lights
A brief history of Botanic D’Lights
Light up the Leafy Night was an event run in July 2013 as part of the 150th birthday of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.The gardens were lit up for 8 nights with installations and performances.
Christchurch’s Central Library in Gloucester Street closed after the earthquake on 22 February 2011. As we move towards opening Tūranga – your new central library – on Friday 12 October 2018, here is a look at the temporary town libraries we’ve operated since 2011:
Central South City Library
South City Shopping Centre, 555 Colombo Street Opened on 8 July 2011
Closed 15 July 2012
Central South City Library was a 136 square metre retail space in the South City Mall, on Colombo Street. The library was situated next to the only supermarket open in the area at the time (New World), adjacent to the food court and across from Paper Plus. People enjoyed the convenience of shopping and using the library. In the one year the library was open, 162,830 people came through the doors.
91 Peterborough Street Opened on 19 December 2011 Scheduled to close from 5pm Sunday 26 August 2018
Central Library Peterborough is a 1,250 square metre building. It was one of the first businesses to open in the area after the February 2011 earthquake, and it provided a good reason for people to come into town and provided library services to the local community. The first 12 months saw 305,800 visitors through the door. It was the venue for Christchurch Art Gallery outer spaces exhibitions. Since then, it has been a popular community library with lots of events and activities for whānau.
121 Tuam Street Opened on 23 July 2012 Closed Friday 1 November 2013
Central Library Tuam occupied a space of approximately 1,000 square metres next to the main public transport hub. Escarto the coffee cart operated in front of the library. The other end of the building housed the CCC Central Rebuild service, and the Christchurch Art Gallery shop.
Central Library Manchester has been the location for important resources like the Aotearoa New Zealand collection, local history and genealogical resources, Ngā Pounamu Māori and the Ngāi Tahu Collection / Ngā Rākau Teitei e Iwa.
Let’s take a walk on the cinematic side! Here are the movie-related books from this year’s Christchurch leg of the New Zealand International Film Festival (it’s on from Thursday 2 August to Sunday 19 August):
Based on the short story ‘Border’ from his anthology Let the Old Dreams Die by Let the Right One In author John Ajvide Lindqvist, this genre-defying supernatural romantic thriller draws us into the mysterious life of a gifted outsider.
Set inside the conservative community of Orthodox Judaism, Sebastián Lelio’s graceful adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s novel Disobedience is a probing look at the illusion of freedom in both religious and secular life.
Chloë Grace Moretz delivers a heartbreaking and nuanced performance as a queer teen shipped off to a gay conversion camp in Desiree Akhavan’s touching drama based on the novel The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth.