Ex-policeman's novel sets records

Last updated 05:00 22/01/2013
Ken Brewer
GROWING SUCCESS: Manurewa author Ken Brewer’s first attempt at a novel is reaping big rewards.

Relevant offers


Reporter Noor Tagouri first person to feature in Playboy wearing hijab Simon Sweetman: Baby, I was born to read Bruce Springsteen's memoir Why a Pulitzer-winning cartoonist has gone 'Trump-free' Christchurch author related to Shakespeare From Beaudie to Dame Silvia, here's the unvarnished truth from 60 great New Zealanders Jeremy Elwood & Michele A'Court: What's all the fuss about Kiwi books? Kelly Ana Morey's fifth novel tackles the career of legendary racehorse Phar Lap Review: This Model World, Anthony Byrt Why Charles M Schulz gave Peanuts a black character in 1968 Reviews: The Love of a Bad Man, The Malice of Waves

A former police officer and first-time fiction writer from Manurewa is turning heads on the international stage. 

Ken Brewer launched his first novel The Enfield Conspiracy in New Zealand at the Manurewa Cosmopolitan Club on Sunday. 

But the book was originally published in New York at the end of November and had already broken records before the glue had set on the first page.

It was printed just six weeks after Seaburn Publishing in New York snapped up the manuscript.

''I asked my literary agent and she said that [the time] between contract signing and publication varies between six and 24 months.

''Six weeks is unheard-of for an established author and unbelievable for a first-time one,'' Brewer said.

The book was sitting in the top 5000 books on shopping website Amazon.com within a week of being published for the United States and British markets.

Brewer hoped it would be just as well received in New Zealand and now looking for a book chain to pick up the distribution rights.

The military adventure follows Ensign Nicholas Reede who joins the British army as a teenager and is sent to India to fight during the 1857 mutiny.

He is plucked from death's door in the Bay of Bengal and ends up being dispatched to New Zealand, only to be pitted against Maori guerrilla fighters.

The story and characters are fictional but the plot follows historical events that occurred in the 19th century, Brewer said.

Brewer and his family moved to New Zealand in 1974 from Exeter, England and he spent 21 years with the Counties Manukau police.

He has also published a number of non-fiction books about the history of the police in New Zealand.

That work lies behind his move into fiction, he says.

''I wanted to write about a young man from my part of the world, from Devonshire in England, who becomes a policeman here in the 1800s.''

Researching the topic took him a year and then writing the book another two.He finished the manuscript in 2009 but it was several months before he asked anyone to have a look at it.

Once he started to give it to family, friends and colleagues to read no-one could put it down. So Brewer sent the book to a literary agent and three days later he was signing a contract.

Three companies are vying for the rights to publish the unnamed sequel to The Enfield Conspiracy which Brewer hoped to have finished by the end of this year.

Ad Feedback

Seaburn Publishing also indicated it wanted to republish Brewer's non-fiction work on New Zealand police history in the United States.

''Apparently there is a big market for that sort of thing over there,'' he said.

- Auckland Now

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content