I had a perfect moment yesterday. 
A pinnacle of a moment.  
A moment I never really thought Id have - ever.
But I did, but instead of trying to hold on to that moment
I am going to write it down and then let it go.  
This is about Creative Process and how it works for me, and how it shaped my first ever novel
 "Heart of the Tapu Stone" 


As probably everyone in this country, and quite a few countries around the world know, Lawrence Makoare is an actor and a carver. 
He's been in a lot of movies, the first movie I saw him in was 'Crooked Earth" and I can't remember anyone else from the movie.  The next thing I saw him in was Lord of the Rings.  He was Lurtz, Goth Mog and the Witch King of Angmar.  
I didn't know that when I saw the movies as he was buried under prosthetics and black cloth.  I found out when I watched the Documentaries on the Lord of the Rings extended Boxset over and over and over and over....again.

They were and still are my obsession.  In fact last night I watched Return of the King extended version again, the full 4 and a half hours, with the director and writers commentary.  
 Yes, I am that Nerdy.

Lord of the Rings
To me Lord of the Rings is the most magnificent example of Manaakitanga I have ever seen.  These movies could not have been made anywhere else in the world or by anyone else.  To me, these movies were an example of what can happen when almost an entire country came together to work toward a common goal.  
And the results were magnificent, I mean come on, look how fantastic we are.  

Artists in the whanau
My stepfather was a sculptor on helms deep, my arty mates all worked on it at one time or another doing everything from being Orks, Hobbits and Elves to sewing costumes, to planting gardens in Hobbiton to building Rivendell at Kaitoke.

That was part of the reason I got so caught up in the Lord of the Rings, everyone knows someone who knows someone...

The spark of inspiration
While I was watching the making of Documentaries I saw an interview where Lawrence Makaore was talking about the fight scene he had as the Witch King of Angmar with Miranda Otto who played Eowyn.

"I am no man..." Eowyn

He was saying how she just kept on going, take after take after take and and how he wanted them to call cut because she was so knackered....and that was the exact 
moment the Character "Robert McGregor" fell into my head, fully formed.
 A a tall, strong, beautiful, quiet, clever Maori man with long black hair who'd been a soldier and injured in Afghanistan, who would do anything to take care of his whanau and feels he's failed them and he is in love with a woman for years who lives five minutes away and he's never told her. 

The rest of the story slid in around him as the other character came to life.  Like all other writers, write what I know.
I'd written a lot of notes for the book, and about 32 k words before I completed it at 'Whitireia NZ' in the writing course as the first year in a Advanced Graduate Diploma.  

March 2016 in Otaki
At the beginning of the year we bought a house in Otaki off my brother Johnny  (yes I got a humungus discount) and in March this year three big things happened , A 'Carving Symposium', 'The Maori Film Festival' and I got very very sick.
My mum met Lawrence and when she told me I almost passed out, as I have always wanted to meet him (in a normal non stalkerish way) and I knew it was his birthday, so I gave her autographed copies of my two novels with a message in it that he's inspired them to give to him.  (Which now I think of it is probably just a bit stalkerish)  

Anyway to bring everything back full circle.

Yesterday,25 August 2016 I got this Facebook message 

Dear Olivia
First off let me thank you for the presents you gave me back in March this year. Although I am not much of a bookworm and have only read 1 book in its entirety all my life, which was "Behind the Tatttoed Face" I finally had time since March to sit and read your books. 
"Heart of the Tapu Stone" Absolutely Fabulous! Would be a total understatement. I took my time reading it but as I got into the story, it had me captivated to the point I couldn't put the book down. And if I did, I couldn't wait to get back to it.
Loved the humour of all the characters and the whole different storylines of them all. Then I went straight into 
"Feather from the Kakahu" which again because I was so into the story by now, that it didn't take me long to read because I didn't want to stop reading it.

It's a very powerful gift you have to capture a readers mind, imagination and time. But I would like to Thankyou wholeheartedly for taking me on that journey!

Totally AMAZING read! Thankyou!

Naku noa

Lawrence Makoare

I screamed, I mean I screamed really loud
I ran around the house
I cried
in that order

Last week I finished the last novel in the 'Heart of the Tapu Stone' series, 'Thread through the Whariki' 
I hope it is as good as the first book.
I wouldn't know.
I can't judge my work.
I have to leave that to my husband who is brutal in his honesty as he would rather have me slap the crap out of him than for me to be humiliated in public by releasing less than stellar work.
 When the last book is out there that will be the end of my journey with these characters unless they elbow there way into any of my other books.
When I received that facebook message from Lawrence Makoare it was a 'perfect moment', because he took the time to read my work and get back to me about it.  I wasn't expecting it.  All I wanted to do was thank him for his inspiration.  But I am so grateful.

For me life is moments strung together like beads on a string, 
some wonderful, 
some shit, 
some meh,
 but this one was perfect.