Those of us fortunate enough to live in New Zealand know that “Be Kind” became something akin to a national rallying cry during the Covid-19 pandemic. Inspirational leadership during the crisis helped to motivate us all to work together – “our team of five million” – to eliminate the virus.

Kindness is something I have found in the writing community as well. The generosity of three local writers in particular played a role in making my first books a reality.

I had always wanted to have a go at writing a novel, but had been daunted by articles on the miniscule chance of successfully publishing, even for a well-written book. Attending a talk by Leeanna Morgan at a local “Books at the Beach” event was a revelation. Leeanna shared her story of her journey to becoming a successful romance writer and, suddenly, the dream no longer seemed an impossibility. Check out her many books at:

Mandy Hager ( is an acclaimed writer and social activist, who gave up her precious time to meet with me and provide some comments on an early draft of The Widow’s Secret. Her generosity spurred me on at the moment I needed it most. If you haven’t read her books yet, I can highly recommend them. If you have a teenager in the house, rush out and buy her ‘Ash’ books today.

And finally, at the end of the writing journey, all new Indie authors are faced with the daunting task of uploading and marketing the e-book. Successful local writer, Diana Holmes, shared her many years of experience at a course on self-publishing run by the local library. I fear that I picked her brains to exhaustion! Check out her dual timeline book—The Modern Girl (

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