My Hero: Margaret Mahy

Wellington author Elizabeth Knox lists Margaret Mahy as her hero.

When I first read The Changeover I understood that, in Margaret Mahy, I'd met a writer who was for me.

Draco Malfoy's story revealed to fans

Draco Malfoy was an 'archetypal bully' says JK Rowling.

Harry Potter fansite publishes new insights about the bad boy that fangirls adore.

What to read this summer

"The only real option we have is to sweat it out in our caves, wiling away the hours with a series of good books."

Feminists are good at reading, having learned to embrace it in place of all the boys who never asked us out on dates.

Bringing out the inner adult

MARSDEN REVEALED:  ‘‘The real me is very different from what they have imagined,’’ says outspoken Australian author John Marsden.

Australian author John Marsden has sold 5 million copies of teen fiction and is making his first foray into adult literature.

JK Rowling regrets killing this character

JK Rowling had a character killed "for no good reason".

In a new short essay published on the Pottermore website Rowling said she feels guilty about killing off this character.

When the word was silence

Joy Cowley talks about the 30-day silent retreat she just completed in Wellington.

Forty years ago Dame Joy Cowley wrote about a deaf boy who couldn't talk. For the past month, the writer tried being The Silent One herself.

Once had me

SHORT STORY AWARDS: :Judge Sarah Quigley and Wellington writer Tracy Farr.

Read Once had Me, Tracy Farr's winning story of the open division of the Sunday Star-Times Short Story Awards.

About a boy

ABOUT A BOY: Morgan McElroy with a book that he is the subject of, based on his earthquake experiences.

Morgan McElroy's teacher did not believe him when she heard he slept through the September 2010 earthquake.

Top five books of 2014

The top 5 books of 2014.

OPINION: What were the top five best reads of 2014?

A memoir's downside

AN UNRELIABLE NARRATOR: Lena Dunham admits she is an unreliable narrator and is now facing a wave of criticism, like many memoir writers, around reliability of the alleged sexual assault detailed in her book Not That Kind of Girl.

Lena Dunham has waded into memoir territory, where writers are criticised if their stories defy verification.

Best books of 2014

The top 10 books of 2014

It's been a year of treasures from some favourite authors and the discovery of young talent.

JK Rowling's Harry Potter surprise

JK Rowling

Christmas comes early for Harry Potter fans with the promise of 12 new short stories by JK Rowling.

Vintage read: The Color Purple

Books, reading, writing

OPINION: This book is as honest and intimate as when I first read it.

Novelist wins 'bad sex' award

A BIT UNDIGNIFIED: Booker Prize winner Ben Okri has taken out the annual Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award.

Booker Prize winner Ben Okri has won an award that is "a bit undignified, just like sex."

Vintage Read: Dead Water

Imbalance: Camilla Nelson, of the University of Notre Dame, questions why most texts authorised for study in years 11 and 12 were written by men.

OPINION: Rachel Pope of Browsers bookshop dips back into the past with a classic tale by Ngaio Marsh.

Crime writer PD James dies

Book generic

British detective writer PD James, who was best known for her mystery series featuring policeman and poet Adam Dalgliesh, has died.

Kiwi Air tale gets new wings


In the 1990s a pilot turned entrepreneur captured the imagination of the travelling public.

'NZ writers defy trend'

THE BEST OF TIMES: Lydia Wevers has won a Royal Society of New Zealand medal for her contributions to humanities.

Kiwi writers are producing more work than ever before, despite warnings about book industry.

Review: These Are The Voyages – Star Trek The Original Series – Season Two

STAR TREKKIN': These Are The Voyages - Star Trek The Original Series Season Two.

It was 1967, Star Trek was about to enter its second year of production, and the show was under threat.

Short stories celebrated

SHORT STORY AWARDS: :Judge Sarah Quigley and Wellington writer Tracy Farr.

A Norwegian church, a concrete cherub and a rose garden were the winning themes in the 30th annual Sunday Star-Times Short Story Awards.

Wererhino erotica work 'weird'

"Yeah, the shapoeshifting stuff is pretty weird," Paul admits.

Aucklander "Elisabeth Ash" makes $1900 a month selling erotic fiction - but she's no lady.

DVF: My life in fashion

CATWALK: Models presenting Diane von Furstenberg's creations during New York Fashion Week this year.

Diane von Furstenberg doesn't love reality TV but has made a series about her fashion design company.

Vape: Oxford's word of the year

"VAPE": To inhale and exhale the vapour of an electronic cigarette.

The old-fashioned smoko could soon be replaced by the more modern vapo.

Mystery cop writes crime

DOUBLE LIFE: An Auckland cop has gone from crime fighter to crime writer and launched a series of ebooks.

By day he's a cop, but after hours he is "Angus McLean - crime writer".

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From The Making Of The Princess Bride

As You Wish: The cover of Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride.

It's inconceivable that the making of The Princess Bride hasn't been recorded until now.

Adult and teen fiction lines blurred

Will Kostakis a young adult author who is defending sophisticated content in young adult fiction.

Harry Potter started adults reading teen fiction. But are teens now reading content way beyond their understanding?

The outside edge

Each character in The Last Illusion is a version of herself, says Iranian-American author Porochista Khakpour.

Ancient myth and modern history converge in Porochista Khakpour's latest novel. She talks with Patricia Maunder .

Not so in love with data

OKCupid co-founder and president Christian Rudder says the “more time you spend with big data, the more it confirms your cynical intuition about people".

The chief data detective of OKCupid is oddly skeptical about algorithms and the science of prediction.

Poetry with purpose

GENERATION GAP: ‘‘A lot of the older Chinese generation don’t want to talk about the past, especially if it’s painful,’’ says poet Chris Tse, standing in Wellington’s Haining St, where  Chinese goldminer Joe Kum Yung was shot dead in 1905.

Lionel Terry's murder of Joe Kum Yung left the story victim's identity untold, leading Chris Tse to write a collection of poetry.

JK Rowling's real-life inspiration


J.K. Rowling has revealed who she has based the much-hated character Dolores Umbridge on.

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