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Online publisher the wind beneath her Broken Wings

BY KAREN KOTZE
Last updated 05:00 19/06/2009
Photo: AMELIA JACOBSEN
TAKING FLIGHT: Lynette Hedrick is the first Kiwi author to have a novel published online with smashwords.com.

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A detective story about a woman’s perilous journey has become New Zealand’s first online novel published on the international website smashwords.com.

Lynette Hedrick of Mission Bay has always wanted to publish a novel. She now has an online presence on the site.

"I write, paint and own a skincare salon. All of these things inspire me but I’ve always wanted to have my writing published," she says.

"My success has a few factors that came together: Dreaming with intent to have the dream come true, determination and hard work."

Mrs Hedrick says she had great direction in putting her first novel Broken Wings together.

"I took adult education courses on creative writing, read books on how to fine-tune my writing and joined a writers’ group in St Heliers.

"Diana Tormey from this group was my copy editor and has been fantastic support and guidance. And I still had the usual and expected series of rejections," she says.

Then her world changed.

"Martin Taylor from Addenda Publishing came along to talk to the New Zealand Society of Authors about Smashwords.

"Basically it is an online publishing website that allows people a new avenue to get work published. You can either sell your book, which people download, or offer it for free and get feedback from all over the world," she says.

Broken Wings was the first novel by a New Zealander to appear on the site.

It follows the heroine Allison, a Christchurch woman, through a detective-mystery adventure that incorporates the insidious underworld of drugs, the CIA and a murder spree that culminates on Allison’s doorstep.

"Having this published has shown me that if you really want something, you can do it," she says.

She’s already well under way on her second novel, one that is especially close to her heart.

"It is a tribute to my mother, who had a part Cherokee fiance whom she lost in World War Two.

"I’m reconstructing their experiences using the letters he sent her while he was at war.

"I feel like I’ve been chosen to write their story, and even though he wasn’t my father I feel quite close to him," Mrs Hedrick says.

"My husband Bud is American, and I’ve visited the Blackfoot reservation and met some incredible people. I’m pouring heaps of research into the era and experiences."

Broken Wings is available on www.smashwords.com and Mrs Hedrick is determined to have her second novel appear online as well.

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"I really encourage everyone with a dream to be published to follow all paths along that dream," she says. "I did."

- East And Bays Courier

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