Napier female author takes on writing fiction through the male eye

Tina Clough with her latest book, The Chinese Proverb.
Megan Hunt

Tina Clough with her latest book, The Chinese Proverb.

A few years ago Tina Clough was working in a busy corporate job when an accident left her with a nine-month recovery.

During her time off the Napier woman began rethinking what she wanted to do with her life and traded her office for story telling.

Next week she releases her third novel, The Chinese Proverb.

The story follows physically and psychologically scarred army veteran Hunter Grant who finds an unconscious girl in the Northland bush.

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She has been enslaved for much of her life and Grant begins to unravel her story.

Clough's previous two novels were also character based crime and set in New Zealand.

"I've always loved writing, ever since primary school," she said.

"It just takes over my life, the first 5000 to 10,000 words I'm stumbling, the prose is awful and the characters are cardboard."

But Clough said once she was on a roll the characters took on a life of their own.

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The 294-page book is written in first person, from the perspective of the main male character, this meant Clough needed to completely change her writing style and made the novel particularly challenging. 

"When I sat down to write I had to switch to this male voice." 

She used shorter sentences with less adjectives then hired a special editor to ensure it was believable.

In between other work she estimated it took six months to write, before months of editing and refining to ensure it was ready to print.

"When I published my first book people would say 'it doesn't matter if it doesn't sell because you've seen your name on a cover,' but I'm a story teller and I want people to read them," she said.

Clough said many readers of her previous novels had contacted her through social media, which was special and memorable.

This included on American woman who did not like flying and was reading one of her digital eBooks on a plane.

"She said she didn't even notice the plane was landing," Clough said.

She has already finished writing her next book, The Shadow Broker, which was being edited.

The Chinese Proverb will be released at Wardini Books in Napier on April 6 at 5.30pm.

 - Stuff

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