This week I have been connecting with the town where I grew up - Whakatane. As a woman, I feel fortunate to have been born on the East Coast as women from Ngati Porou speak on the marae. In Whakatane, where I grew up, there is a statue of legendary wahine Wairaka, so I was literally bathed in girl power from a young age. The Whakatane Beacon published my first story in 1977 about an alien by the name of Toria. It was fantastic to speak to reporter Kathy Forsyth from The Beacon this week, and she hopes to have an article out next Friday - no pressure Kathy if I get bumped by a Hayden or Lisa! I also spoke to Graham Dennis, from Paper Plus Whakatane and they are selling Guardians of the Ancestors and I hope Book Two - The Future Weavers, due to launch...very soon. There is a nod to Wairaka in The Future Weavers.
To my old schools Ohope Primary, Whakatane Intermediate, Trident High School and the friends I made along the way 👍thank you. My connection to the Bay of Plenty runs deep. My Nanny was from Omaio so I whakapapa to Te Whanau-a-Apanui and grew up with two brothers-in-law from Ngati Awa. The region has had its fair share of natural disasters and misfortune, but the sun shines and people are warm.