The Odd Disappearance of Violet D’Ath and New Zealand’s First Gothic Novel

whale

I’m currently working on a top secret, wonderful project and was deep into some research when something quite odd happened… I stumbled upon an obscure article referencing New Zealand’s first Gothic Novel ‘The Ice Station’, written in 1912 by Violet D’Ath.

The storyline sounded so good I immediately decided to find a copy and read it. But it wasn’t that easy, as you can probably tell by my title. Continue reading

The Stuff of Nightmares!

What’s the first nightmare you ever remember having? The first time you woke in a cold sweat, pulling your covers up to your nose and staring around your dark bedroom, completely terrified? This was mine…

mrtickle.jpg

The Mr. Tickle nightmare came out of nowhere when I was about four years old, but looking back at the text, it’s hardly surprising. And now I’m quite sure I’m not the only one who had this particular nightmare.

SPOILER ALERT: This is how Mr. Tickle ends… Continue reading

Confession Time

peterpan

27 Cartoon Characters who gave us the Hots as Kids

This article in Huffington Post made me laugh. I remember only too well destroying my bumper Disney book so I could have a badly cut-out picture of Peter Pan stuck on my wall. My first pin-up!

But there’s a serious side too – apparently the type of cartoon character you fell in love with as a child can set up a precedent for the type of person you’re attracted to later in life. So if it was Gaston, you’re in trouble!

FROM THE HUFFPOST ARTICLE

“Do you remember, as a kid, watching your favorite cartoon and realizing that you were focusing a little too much on one of the characters? Lots of the characters were great, but there was one in particular who was so smart, so cool, so good at vanquishing bad guys. 

Continue reading

The First Ever YA Book?

17th summer

Margaret Daly was seventeen herself when she started writing ‘Seventeenth Summer’. Written by a young adult specifically for the newly-recognised ‘teenager’ audience, this is widely recognised as the first real YA book.

Romance being timeless, the book was last reissued in 2010. It’s available, with a whopping 4.3 star rating, on Amazon.com, and Amazon.co.uk too.

Here’s the blurb:

A summer to remember…

Angie always thought high school romances were just silly infatuations that come and go. She certainly never thought she would fall in love over one short summer. But when she meets Jack, their connection is beyond any childish crush. Suddenly, Angie and Jack are filling their summer with stolen moments and romantic nights. But as fall grows closer, they must figure out if their love is forever, or just a summer they’ll never forget.

While the romance is pretty chaste and pure, the book was tutted at for portraying teenage desire, smoking and underage drinking and smoking! Tut-tut, indeed. You won’t find any of that in my books (she says with her fingers crossed under the table).

And here’s the new cover:

17thSummerNew.png

There’s just something about that old cover though… Which one do you prefer?