Monday, June 02, 2008

Please welcome New Zealand author Jane Beckenham!

Hello…can you hear me?

You see I’m a long, long way from where this is all meant to be happening. Not so, you say. This is the world of the internet, where distance means nothing. But stop, wait a minute and think about it.

You’re where you are, and I’m…well, I’m down under in New Zealand, a land known as Aotearoa, but heck that means nothing in this world of technology. I can google your house and check it out, watch what’s happening in any part of the world. And I confess I even googled Buckingham Palace, London once, just to see if the Queen was wandering about – true!

For the world of an author, you’d think that with electronic publishing, getting everything at the click of a send button, it would make the life of a writer far easier. And in some ways this is true… but the world really isn’t that small. You see, if I want to chat to you, what time is it there, are you awake, or as I (and author friends Melody Knight and Eve Summers) find out often, when you are chatting after a nice meal on EST, we’re only just waking up. And if you want to chat over lunch, then we’ve got to get up about 1 a.m. or…as in my case, stay up.

So time is a factor for any promotion we downunder authors undertake. Just to give you an example, a group of New Zealand authors hosted a chat yesterday on the Manic Readers yahoo group site. The official time was 9am –5pm EST – well for us down here that was 1am – 9a.m So we did it in shifts, with Eve doing from 1-2, Melody 2-4, me 4- - well about 8, coz I kept popping in and out and the other authors taking over from about 7-9. So with a little lateral thinking it can be done. I’ve two new books out from Red Rose Publishing. The Sheikh’s Proposal this May and now on 5th of June – No Sex Necessary. So I guess it’s going to be another round of late nights…or is that early mornings. Whatever!

Another thing that us downunder authors get asked to do quite a bit is add in local flavor to our settings. For example, Christmas of course is in our summer, which the Pohutukawa, known as New Zealand’s Christmas tree for its scarlet brush type flowers, in full bloom along our coat line, and then of course if you’ve seen Lord of the Rings, everyone asks about our mountains. In my book Always A Bridesmaid, I set it in what really is the deepest heartland of New Zealand’s North Island – in the Uruweras, full of tradition and Maori heritage and mysticism, where the moss on the trees grows because the air is ultra-clean. So you see, we may be disadvantaged by distance, but we can bring an awful lot to our books and to you the reader.

Happy reading everyone.
Jane Beckenham
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