Lawyer turned environmental law, policy, and science consultant Winston Cowie speaks with Craig Sisterson about the long and winding road he faced as a first-time novelist.
Writing and publishing a novel is definitely a marathon, not a sprint. Putting words to paper, turning ideas into imagery, and crafting compelling characters that will resonate in readers’ minds, can take years of thought and effort. Winston Cowie knows that, first hand. When Cowie’s debut novel, A Flame Flickers in the Darkness, was published this April, it marked the culmination of a six-year odyssey that started when he was “living on a mullet boat” in Auckland harbour and working as a young solicitor at Russell McVeagh, then continued through postgraduate study at Oxford University, working in London and Qatar, and his return to New Zealand. “It’s been a real determined effort, and I’ve learned a lot over six years,” says Cowie, who decided to publish the historical novel himself after getting a lot of helpful advice from industry experts…. “I guess I just got to a point where I was happy with it and I got good feedback from people that I respected, and, yeah, I just thought I’d get it out there and have a crack.”
A Flame Flickers in the Darkness has been getting good reviews – “a ripping yarn”, “meticulously researched”, “a rare insight into the times” – and is available in several bookstores, including Whitcoulls. Cowie’s novel is set in the 1860s, during ‘the New Zealand Wars’ where Maori and Pakeha engaged in several violent battles over this country’s land………
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You can get your own copy of A Flame Flickers in the Darkness, a New Zealand historical fiction novel or book based on the New Zealand Wars or Maori Wars or New Zealand Land Wars of the 1860s, from Whitcoulls, independent bookstores an online on PublishMe and Fishpond.