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From pen to page to novel

It's not often readers get to peek behind the curtain and see what goes into a novel, but Tairawhiti will be treated to just this when two authors come to town this Saturday.

Authors Kirsty Powell and Kerry Harrison stop by Muirs Bookshop to talk about how they wrote their books The Strength of Eggshells and Hold the Line.

Powell was the winner of the New Zealand Booklovers award for Adult Fiction in 2020 with her breakout novel The Strength of Eggshells.

The novel explores the lives of rural New Zealanders, set against the isolation of life on the farm and two world wars.

In the book talk, Powell will discuss how her first book went from pen to page to novel and the research she is undertaking for the sequel.

Harrison's latest book, Hold the Line, is set during the contentious Springbok Tour of 1981. This year marks 40 years since the tour.

Despite growing public protest, the Government and the Rugby Union were adamant the tour would proceed.

The result was a well-supported protest movement pitched against a nation of die-hard rugby supporters.

Hold the Line details the polarisation in New Zealand 40 years ago.

Although the novel is fiction, the story is real to Harrison. After all, both she and her brother Laurie Harrison were part of the anti-tour protests.

“I was a protestor in 1981 and I was amazed at the passionate debate and the war-like atmosphere that descended on our normally sleepy country,” Harrison told NZ Booklovers.

“So many relationships were put to the test. It was a time full of drama and change with the potential for rich characters.”

Harrison says the talk at Muirs Bookshop will detail the tour's events and the research that went into writing the book, from the anti-tour protest movement to movements of the riot squads and the historical tragedies such as the Sharpeville massacre and the murder of South African activist Steve Biko.

Stop by Muirs Bookshop this Saturday at 3pm to listen and speak with the two authors.

Hold the Line by Kerry Harrison
The Strength of Eggshells by Kirsty Powell