Called into Dunedin's wonderful University Book Shop this morning and who should I meet there but blogger extraordinaire the lovely Vanda Symon. As well as running her own book blog and writing murder mysteries, Vanda also runs an excellent local radio show dedicated to books and writing. And so much more besides (she also has a regular TV review slot). She is also an active and generous member of the NZ Society of Authors.
Vanda has a literary competence and awareness that extends far beyond the territory of her own chosen genre of - correct me if I get this wrong - "police procedural" - or is it "lady cop" novels? I'm an addict of the series already and am hanging out for the third Sam Shephard novel. The skilfully evoked characterisations of the dramatis personae and the way Vanda catches the NZ vernacular are a pleasure to read in themselves.
As with many of Vanda's contacts, I'm always offering suggestions for an interesting murder plot, although she always seems to have thought of it already! She doesn't give any indication of getting sick of being canvassed on the subject of some real or imagined murder case. In fact she seems interested in checking out my new waterside hideaway as it sounded to her like it might make a good setting for some terrible deed she has in mind.
If you think about it, Vanda is a slightly scary person. She recently blogged a photo shoot involving a human skull (not a real one as it turns out).
One of the things we looked at in the UBS is the new range of Penguin Classics merchandise. Dammit! The prices are outrageous ($25 for a coffee cup, $20 for a blank notebook) but it's a devilishly clever concept...
Janet Frame in Baltimore
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