Comedian and Social Media Star, Tom Sainsbury, is appearing at next month's Garden Party here in Wellington. Well known for his Snapchat impressions of Kiwi celebs and politicians, especially Paula Bennett and Gingerbread the Cat, Tom has recently put all those personalities into a book - New Zealanders: The Field Guide. He'll be at the Soundshell on February 20th, impersonating some of the weird and wonderful inhabitants of Aotearoa, including the 'Wellington Intelligensia'!
Art duo and nomadic lifestylers, Kemi and Niko are the creative team behind The Urban Hut Club. This February, The Urban Hut Club, a public art project showcasing colourful and sustainably built mini huts, will be part of The Garden Party Festival. Now sit, back, relax and read our interview with Kemi & Niko and check out the complete Garden Party line up next month. We're proud as punch to be the official bookseller for this awesome neighbourhood gig!
Author of 13 novels, three novellas and a collection of essays, Elizabeth Knox is a national literary legend. Her latest book, Monsters in the Garden, which she co-edited with David Larsen, has flown off the shelves this holiday season - a perfectly timed escapist collection of the best sci-fi and fantasy from across New Zealand. We were lucky enough to interview Elizabeth for this week's Journal, in-between the famous VUP party, Christmas prep and working on overseas editions of her other books
Rebekah Ballagh is a qualified counsellor, an illustrator and the creator of the popular Instagram page, Journey to Wellness. She's also the author of Note to Self, a gorgeously illustrated guide to feeling calm; complete with mental toolkits to help with anxiety and worry - a perfect gift book for 2020. We chatted to the lovely Rebekah about coping with festive stress and her picks for books for a blissed out holidays. After chatting with Rebekah, we felt instantly calmer too!
Book Podcaster, Journo, Author and TV Producer are just some of the titles held by Sonya Wilson. Aucklander Sonya is also the heart and soul behind Kiwi Christmas Books, a charitable scheme set up to ensure those kids whose family's are struggling, will get a book as a gift this Christmas. We got to know more about Sonya and her passion for books in this week's Journal interview - read on for more info on how you can help make a donation this Christmas.
'Tis the season and we're getting super excited ahead of meeting the creators of Egg & Spoon at our customer Christmas Party on Thursday! We bagged a sneak peak interview with NZ illustrator, Giselle Clarkson whose scrumptious illustrations can be found in Gecko Press's new cookbook for kids - healthy and yummy recipes for Kiwis 1-100. Come get a signed copy of Egg & Spoon this Thursday and make someone's Christmas morning!
We reckon Travel Writer, Bruce Ansley, has the dream job! We caught up with Bruce for the release of his ninth book, Down South - his epic homage to Aotearoa's beautiful Te Waipounamu. This great book takes a journey from Curio Bay to Golden Bay to meet the people and places that hold the clues to the South’s famous character. That Subaru on the cover is Bruce’s trusted vehicle - he’s covered around 250,000 kms in this car over the years, including his adventure Down South.
Polynesian Panther, Melani Anae, secretly left her parents Grey Lynn home to attend a meeting of the Panthers when she was 17. Founded 50 years ago, Auckland's Polynesian Panther Party has been shining a light on oppressive and racist regimes ever since. Melani is the author of The Platform, the latest BWB Text to tell the personal and political story of her own political awakening and the Party's commitment to the fight against discrimination. Here she joins us for our weekly Journal interview.
New Zealand's inaugural Poet Laureate, short story writer and VUW professor, Bill Manhire, is one of the highlights of Verb Festival this weekend. With just two days to go until he launches his new poetry collection, Wow, at Meow on Sunday at 12:30pm, we thought we'd give you a sneak peak into Bill's tips for the festival. Come meet Bill and get your hot off the press copy of Wow signed by the man himself.
Culinary rockstar Monique Fiso, is appearing at Verb Festival this weekend to talk about her breathtaking new book, Hiakai. If you're lucky enough to have dined at her Wellington restaurant, HIAKAI, you know we're all in for a special treat. Monique has brought modern Maori cuisine to the world and her book celebrates its traditions, ingredients and tikanga. Monique took time out of her busy schedule to talk about two of our favourite things - books and food.
Adventurer Miriam's first memoir Woman in the Wilderness was an international bestseller back in 2017 and she's recently returned from living the nomadic life walking 2000km across Europe. Wild at Heart is that adventure story and we were lucky enough to catch up with Miriam online before she appears at Verb Festival to talk about her journey next weekend!
We're celebrating the international publication day of debut novelist Sally J Morgan's Toto Among the Murderers! A gripping crime novel based on real life events, set in 1970s Britain. We chatted to Sally about her upcoming appearance at Verb Festival, her life as a published author and how a narrow escape with notorious serial killers, Fred and Rose West sowed the seeds for writing Toto Among the Murderers years later.
Founder and Director of Almighty, Ben Lenart, has a background in hospitality having owned various cafes in Wellington before founding Almighty and settling in Auckland. From 10-11 am, Tuesday 27th October, we'll be serving free tastings of Almighty beverages - so we sat down with Ben to find out more about the Almighty story and why his beverages taste so darn delicious!
Co-Founder of All Good, Matt Morrison, is in store serving free All Good Oat Milk tastings on Tuesday 13th October - we got the lowdown on Matt's fairtrade story for this week's Journal. Matt helped launch All Good by importing New Zealand’s first fairtrade and organic bananas back in 2010. They've been bringing us products that are good for the land, good for the growers, and, good for Vic Books' customers ever since.
Telling the story of her coming-out journey with a refreshing frankness, writer Lil O'Brien will be appearing on stage at Verb Festival this year. Her debut memoir, Not That I Kissed a Girl was published in July and after great success, has already reprinted. We caught up with Lil to talk Verb Festival and her talent for reading multiple books all at once!
Wellingtonian Brannavan Gnanalingam, is the author of six novels including Sodden Downstream which was shortlisted for the 2018 Ockham Book Awards and his latest book, Sprigs. Brannavan is appearing at this year's Verb Festival in Wellington so we caught up with him to find out what he's most excited about ahead of this year's packed programme of literary events.
Kieran E Scott is the author of a beautiful little hand-drawn book, DOT. DOT was produced over lockdown and released this September. It offers a practical way to comfort and calm anyone anxious, stressed or overwhelmed. We thought Kieran was the perfect person to interview this Mental Health Awareness Week.
Academic, translator and VUW neighbour, Dr Karena Kelly, sat down with us during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori to chat about her passion for engaging with te reo Māori in her teaching practices and translation projects. Her latest book in translation is Mā Wai e Hautū Who’s Driving published by Gecko Press.
This week we were lucky enough to chat with Sara McIntyre, the photographer behind Observations of a Rural Nurse, which quickly sold out of its first print run and is being reprinted. She talked about what drives her photography process, what impact her career as a nurse has had on her art, and what it was like to publish her first book!
This week we got to ask a few questions to the delightful Sam Coley, whose debut novel State Highway One is out now! Sam gives insight into his writing and reading process, why the details matter, and what it’s like trying to find and understand the idea of home.
For National Poetry Day we talked to Kōtuku Titihuia Nuttall, editor of Saltwater Love Zine and MA student at the International Institute of Modern Letters. She selected a few poems from Saltwater Love to display in the shop for National Poetry Day and answered a few questions whilst she was at it!
Ahead of the NZ Book Awards for Children & Young Adults winners announcement this evening, we caught up with poet, scholar, and former poet laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh about Mophead, being a ‘doodler, and HEART-led stories.
Coffee Supreme supplies our cafes with supremely good coffee year round, so this week we decided to sit down with a cup of soft brew and Douglas Johns from Coffee Supreme to chat about designing for the seasonal Vic Books blend, setting up shop in Japan, and the rewarding nature of working with coffee.
Ahead of the NZ Book Awards for Children & Young Adults announcement on August 12th, we caught up with Damien Wilkins: novelist, poet, musician, and Director of the International Institute of Modern Letters here at Victoria. Damien talks book buying habits, dipping a toe into the world of children’s publishing, and New Zealand’s writing workshop culture.
H. G. Parry stopped in to chat with us this week, ahead of her signing at Vic Books this Thursday. She spilled the tea on her literary heroes, what it’s like to be a full-time writer, and the perks of being an internationally published fantasy novelist.
To celebrate teaming up with local botanical designers Twig & Arrow this week, we decided to get to know senior florist, stylist and instructor Mindy Dalzell. Twig & Arrow is a mother-daughter team, Mindy and daughter, Gretta. We found out what inspires their stunning, lush creations, what their floral design workshops offer, and why flowers are an essential for any space.
Pip Adam, author, workshop facilitator, Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize winner, and vegan quiche extraordinaire, sat down with us this week to chat about what things have been like since the release of her latest novel Nothing to See. Over a Libertine Kapow tea, Pip fills us in on writing with care, what excites her in contemporary literature and some of her current favourite reads.
This week we’re celebrating mid-winter Christmas by chatting to Pania Tahau-Hodges and Bryony Walker from HUIA Publishers, who have collaborated on Santa’s Worst Christmas, a finalist in the NZ Book Awards for Children & Young Adults and an instant whānau classic. Pania and Bryony talk about collaborative writing, working in publishing, and the growing scope of Māori literature.
This week we switched seats and interviewed Maggie Tweedie, the Breakfast Host of Radioactive.fm, Wellington’s leading alternative radio station and home to Vic Books weekly morning book reviews! She let us in on her all time favourite segments and guests on the show, her dream podcast project and what’s on her bookshelf at the moment.
How lucky are we having Emily Perkins on campus! Author, playwright, and Senior Lecturer at the International Institute of Modern Letters, Emily is also a Vic Books alumni.Emily spoke to us this week about the differences between writing fiction and writing for the stage, what she’s reading right now, and how her past informs her practice.
This week Max Rashbrooke graciously agreed to chat with us online about his latest work as the 2020 JD Stout Fellow at Victoria University, the Inequality Calculator, and cautious optimism. Max is a journalist, academic, and author tackling economic inequality in New Zealand — and looking towards democratic renewal in the future. Bridget Williams Books has published several of Max’s titles, including The Inequality Debate: An Introduction and Government for the Public Good.
This week is Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa / Samoan Language Week and we were lucky enough to catch up over a caffe latte with Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban, Assistant Vice Chancellor (Pasifika) here at the University. Former Member of Parliament and Labour Party spokesperson for Pacific Island Affairs, we chatted to Dame Winnie about her future plans for Pasifika students here at VUW, her passion for education and the benefits of bilingual reading.
As part of Kate's 100 Day Project, the talented illustrator has showcased some of the capitol's best-loved cafes, retailers and hot spots on Insta during lockdown. We sat down with Kate and her gorgeous illustrations to talk about how she's kept us all connected to our favourite Wellington hangs without having to break our bubbles.
The star of this week's Journal interview is Claire Mabey, Director of Verb Wellington. As well as being at the heart of the capital's literati, she's a voracious reader, a mum and a Pisces. We chatted to Claire about what comes next for literary festivals, her love of storytelling and why she always champions the red-haired heroine.
Julia Marshall, of award-winning Wellington kids book publisher, Gecko Press, chatted with us online. She shares the winning formula behind her 'curiously good books' for kids, her favourite reads and why her literary heroine, Pippi Longstocking, would ace lockdown life.
You know him as our charismatic storyteller who entertains our younger readers at Storytime, but he's also a top-notch New Zealand journalist. Baz Macdonald chatted about his talent for storytelling, his favourite kids books and his idea of chicken soup for the soul.
Harry Ricketts, author, poet, academic and Vic Books regular, chatted with us online - in between navigating "the unstable backwaters of Zoomland". He talks to us about sitcoms and acting, Bob Dylan and Jane Austen and how he loves a literary happy ending.
The extremely talented designer and illustrator, Phoebe Morris chatted with us online to talk about her latest publications, her career and what she's been up to during lockdown (just casually writing, illustrating and self-publishing a children's book).
Tayi Tibble, poet, writer and all-round boss, sat down with us (via the wonders of the internet) to talk about how she’s dealing with isolation, reflect on some scarily accurate predictions, and to describe what her ideal post-COVID-19 world looks like.
In February of this year, Juliet Blyth, our General Manager of two decades left to take on the task of getting New Zealanders to read more. We sat down with her to reflect on her years at Vic Books, talk about how we’ve changed with the times, and what she’s up to now.