My Secret... ssh!
Award-winning New Zealand author, Kate de Goldi, said to us once that no matter where she sets her stories, she finds they’re always set in the same part of the South Island. No matter how hard she tries to leave, she returns.
A couple of years ago in the autumn of 2010, I was down visiting my parents in the Coromandel.
One afternoon, I went for the walk that winds around the mountain. It’s no more than a dirt trail in places with a rocky hill face on one side and a sharp, dizzying drop to forest on the other. We ran along it many times as kids and then periodically ever since, following the old track that runs past the frog pond.
The rains of autumn had plumped up the grasses and ferns. I looked at the warm green and brown hues. I sensed there was something deeply familiar about it, I wasn’t sure exactly what. I stopped when it dawned on me.
I looked back: at the grasses, the native fauna, the background murmur of wind in the trees, the friendly feel of the undergrowth. Everything, the tone of the sea and insect sounds, the cries of the birds and the overriding silence - these things were familiar in a way I hadn't thought of before. I knew that this land in the Coromandel was where my books were based, even the parts of The Chronicles of Aden Weaver that were set in Japan and South America.
Trust yourself and your instincts. Most of all, trust that when you sit down to write, even if it's an off day and you aren't sure where you're going with a scene, trust that it will come if you just sit and put fingers to keyboard (or pen to paper). -Deborah Grace Staley
Something organic grows, amidst the back and forth of plot considerations and gathering tension. -Daniel Jose Older
Think about the legacy of your vision, what will you leave on earth? -Lawrence Lewis Green
For more on our place in the Coromandel, go here.