Fun, sun and the usual Spinal Tap hilarity on the other side of the ditch

It’s time for a weekend get-away, and She Who Must Be Obeyed and I decide the other side of the Tasman is, once again, the place to be. Sydney is one of our favourite get-away destinations, cheaper to reach than parts of New Zealand and alive with a vibrancy that underscores its place as one of the… More Fun, sun and the usual Spinal Tap hilarity on the other side of the ditch

New Zealand and the American Declaration of Independence

I am often intrigued by the unlikely ways history has conspired to make the world we know today – the connections, often unlikely, that link the world. Take the US Declaration of Independence, for instance. I figure that it was thanks to a combination of this document and the fact that too many Englishmen were caught poaching… More New Zealand and the American Declaration of Independence

Arguing about New Zealand’s founding Treaty

It’s Waitangi Day here in New Zealand – the 174th anniversary of New Zealand’s founding as a Crown Colony, when Hone Heke became the first of around 40 Maori to sign a treaty with the British government at Waitangi (‘Weeping Waters’). Copies of the Treaty were subsequently taken around the country, and about 540 Maori subsequently… More Arguing about New Zealand’s founding Treaty

How professional book reviewing works – ideally

A week or so back my publicist at Penguin sent me the reviews of my book Convicts: New Zealand’s Hidden Criminal Past, that have been published since that title came out. They got me thinking about reviews and reviewing. I write such things myself for New Zealand newspapers and magazines. And at that professional level, reviewers are… More How professional book reviewing works – ideally

First reviews of ‘Convicts’ – and a couple of radio interviews

I’ve fielded a couple of reviews of my book Convicts: New Zealand’s Hidden Criminal Past, which I’d like to share: ‘Wright has done a great job of exposing activities which society had considered best forgotten, and made it interesting reading to boot’ – Graeme Barrow, Northern Advocate, 23 July 2012. ‘…great reading, full of specific… More First reviews of ‘Convicts’ – and a couple of radio interviews

Wrapping it all up – blog meltdown, book launch, radio promos and earthquake

What a month. My book Convicts – New Zealand’s Hidden Criminal Past was published. The city I live in was shaken by a larger-than-usual quake the same week. My blog blew up. Our internet connection kept going on the fritz. And I was embroiled in a promotion frenzy. The key way to push books in New Zealand,… More Wrapping it all up – blog meltdown, book launch, radio promos and earthquake

Convicts Contest – we have a winner

The winner of my ‘Convicts Contest’ – prize, a copy of my book Convicts, New Zealand’s Hidden Criminal Past – is Helen McMullin. Helen’s great-grandfather was a missionary here in New Zealand, back in the 1880s. You can check out Helen’s blog at http://www.conantstation.com/2012/07/09/of-new-zealand-and-my-bucket-list/ And a big thank you to all who entered – with special mention and shout-out… More Convicts Contest – we have a winner