Flash party – book launch

My book Convicts – New Zealand’s Hidden Criminal Past is released today by Penguin, in print and as an e-book in Kobo format.

It’s a tale of white crime in pre-1840 New Zealand, a riotous age when lawlessness leaked from the periphery of Empire – in this case, the penal colonies of Australia, established in 1788. Prisoners stowed away on boats, escaped in boats and otherwise made their way across the Tasman, where Maori looked on most of them with disdain.

Some convicts left as soon as they could. Others stayed. They were joined by others, former prisoners with ‘certificates of freedom’ who had done their time and crossed to New Zealand where they became whalers, sealers, ne’er-do-wells and traders.

Curiously, the biggest criminals weren’t convicts – they were sea captains, supposed upholders of the law who became involved in all kinds of skullduggery around New Zealand’s coastline, ranging from cannibalism to genocide.

They were bad, some of them were mad – and it all happened in just a few exciting decades in a tiny corner of the South Pacific.

This is the first time the tale of these people has been told in this detail, in a single book – and it’s being published in New Zealand, Australia and Canada in print and as an e-book, Kobo format just now.

Is there a launch? No. But I’d love to talk to you folks. Not about my book – about what you’re doing. Call it a virtual launch party. Do tell!

And be ready to win a print copy. Details this Saturday.

 Copyright © Matthew Wright 2012


11 thoughts on “Flash party – book launch

    1. Thanks – I quite enjoyed writing it. A curious time and very much an example of Niall Fergusson’s point about lawlessness leaking from the perimeters of Empire, worldwide.

  1. Congrats again on the launch – I look forward to picking up a copy and think it is fantastic that you chose to focus on such an interesting part of NZ’s history. There is still a skulking remnant of the misconception that NZ’s history is boring, anyone who still believes that really needs to get their hands on your book!

    My personal projects are being sidelined a little bit at the moment by my day job, but that is interesting in its own right so I won’t complain. Last week I was fortunate to attend a talk by John Stevenson – director of ‘Kung Fu Panda’. He discussed story structure, character development and how to pitch ideas to people who have the money to make them happen, but the most useful tips were on motivation, creative thinking and attitude – useful advice for most creative mediums.

    1. Thanks! And I hope plenty of people will. The Wellington Whitcoulls had stacks of them in yesterday, which I hope is reflected around the country. You’re quite right – NZ history is NEVER boring. In fact, it’s one of the more interesting histories around because it’s got just about every trend and feature historians look for – all in a relatively short spread of time and space. Wonderful.

      That talk sounds highly inspirational.

  2. Congrats, Matthew! I know you’re relieved and happy to have the book tossed to the four winds. Is it going to be available in a Kindle edition on Amazon US? I’d love to snatch a copy. 🙂

    1. Thanks – and appreciated. Reception’s been interesting so far, I’ve had a few radio slots to promote the thing. It’s available only via Kobo at this stage but I’m told other formats will be available in due course. Because it’s commercially published by Penguin, that’s their call.

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