Friday, July 4, 2008

The Blue is a bestseller

My friend Maggie emailed to tell me the news. The Blue is officially a best seller which is simply the best thing I've heard all week (apart from my daughter's school report from her nearly new school.)

It comes in at third on the fiction list with Jenny Pattrick's Landings at first place, Is She Still Alive? by Tessa Duder next, 4th is Two Little Boys by Duncan Sarkies, and A Sandwich Short of a Picnic by Felicity Price, 5th.

For more information follow the link.

Jenny Pattrick's received some sort of gong from the folks of Wanganui City for her book Landings which is set at a time when the Wanganui River was known as the Rhine of Maoriland. People flocked to travel down river on the steamers, over 200 rapids, and stay at the luxury Pipiriki Hotel.

I said in my Listener review, 'Landings is a powerful yarn set in an extraordinary time and place.' Whatever I said it wouldn't have mattered, the NZ public loves a Jenny Pattrick novel and it will stay at no. 1 for sometime yet I'm guessing.

I heard Duncan Sarkies read from Two Little Boys at the Auckland Writers Festival and have since been forcing it on people who want a good laugh. He picked an especially funny piece to read which introduced me to the phrase 'sloppy seconds'.

The book is essentially a road trip which turns to disaster when the two lads run over a Norwegian backpacker and decide to dispose of the body. Flight of the Conchords' Jemaine Clement: “Twisted, surprising and very very very funny.”

I haven't yet read the Duder which sees the children's/YA author writing stories about 'ordinary older' women, or the Price which looks like a sharp piece of chick lit about a dumped woman exacting revenge. The author appears to be a writing dynamo turning out bios and novels like other people turn out blog posts.

It's great to see Emily Perkins' Novel about my Wife entering the international fiction list. Published by Faber in the UK, it doesn't qualify for the NZ list. It has received rave reviews in the UK and elsewhere with words like 'accomplished' and 'brilliant' flashed around. The only trouble is they're calling her one of Britain's most exciting young authors.

My students have been studying Perkins' short story Not Her Real Name in the Massey University creative writing course and they never cease to be amazed by its... audacity. The way it plays with point-of-view using poems, shopping lists etc planted randomly amongst the prose to give rare glimpses into the characters' feelings.

I see my friend Kerre is still selling well in the bestsellers' non-fiction category with her Short Fat Chick to Marathon Runner which is a terrifically honest, funny and inspiring book. God knows if I could ever run a marathon but at least I'd know not to wear a g-string while doing it (a little tip from Kerre).

I used to play doubles tennis with Kerre when we both worked for TVNZ in Wellington, and it was in the middle of one of the games that I flung myself after the ball, landed face first on the concrete and knocked my front teeth out. One of the side-effects of doing the fitness thing I suppose.

So The Blue's in good company - long may it last.


The Paradoxical Cat said...

Congratulations! That must feel fantastic. I'm one of the people who bought your book recently, and I'm really looking forward to reading it. It was the Montana publicity that spurred me on (but I was going to read it anyway, honest!)


Congratulations! I keep a wish list of books for Kyle to buy for me (I'm spoiled) and The Blue is on my list. :)

Mary McCallum said...

What a delicious epithet 'the paradoxical cat' and I like your blog immensely. The interest in cats and trains, and those lovely loving photos of your cat, and your Mum.

That photo of your Mum smiling in her nightie with her birthday cake brought tears to my eyes (there needs to be a single word for that, you know, not crying exactly but moved ... maybe that's the word I'm looking for...). I was also amazed by your list of recently bought books. You must keep the local bookstore going! And good on you for buying so many NZ authors.

So, enjoy your reading, and keep blogging!

Mary McCallum said...

Susan, I don't know how I missed your comment earlier. But there it is now.

Thank you for putting The Blue on your shopping list but I think the only way the thoughtful Kyle could get it in the States is via the internet.

Although there is a man who owns a wallpaper company not too far from you who has a copy. We used his wallpaper on the cover and sent him The Blue as a thank you. I still haven't heard what he thought of it.

It's strange to think of him in his landlocked town reading about whaling in 1938 NZ.

I was interested to see on your blog that you tracked down Rachael King's helpful writing blog and that no doubt led you to mine. The wonders of blogging eh?

Vanda Symon said...

Well done Mary - we all watch those lists in the hope that...

I enjoy the Paradoxical Cat too - such a photogenic tabby.