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Novel a page-turner

BY SHIRLEY WAN
Last updated 05:00 08/07/2009

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New author Dorothy Fowler has published an exciting mystery novel based on an archeological dig set in Whakapirau.

This author spent a lot of her early 20s in Te Kopuru visiting many teacher friends who worked there.

Fowler enrolled at Auckland University and completed an archaeology and ancient history degree.

She went on to take a creative writing course and so began her passion for writing.

The scene was set for her story in a small community in the Kaipara for the book What Remains Behind. The area chosen is where her late husband had his farm.

She used the layout of the farm and the old homestead and drew on events in the local area.

The church on the book cover is Whakapirau church.

"It is easier to write something if you have a real setting," Dorothy says.

The story was written as part of her course assignment and things took off from there.

Her tutors, authors Witi Ihimaera and Emily Perkins, encouraged her all the way.

The manuscript was sent to three publishing companies. Random House took it straight away.

"It’s a real page-turner," Random House editor Harriet Allen says.

Fowler has started her second novel.

She has found the whole experience most enjoyable.

"It’s the most interesting thing I have ever done. It has opened up a whole new world for me," she says

The advice she gives to budding new writers is to just sit down and write.

"You might surprise yourself because I sure did."

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