For many people, writing is about simply conveying information from one person to another, but for Marie Higgs it's a lifelong passion that allows her to explore human emotion, entertain and, she hopes, inspire.
Two of her works were published in a book of poetry and short stories put out by the Albury Pleasant Point Presbyterian Parish in Christchurch in aid of the Cancer Society of New Zealand. The Picton-based writer won second place for her poem The Battlers in a competition run by the parish to attract writers to submit material for the book, which was published early this month.
She was further honoured by having a short story she had also entered, called Simon's Song, published in the book, too. This makes her one of just a handful of writers featured in The Journey to have two works published in it.
"It's always lovely to be published, but I love that I am able to contribute to this great cause. There are some great poems and stories by very talented writers, so to be included is a great honour," Marie says.
This is the second time she has had her work published in one of the parish's fundraising poetry and short story collections. Her short story Angels Mark featured in I saw love today, produced by the parish in 2012.
The former nurse has a great empathy for people and is busy working on a series loosely based on the first inhabitants of Chatham Islands, the Moriori.
"I have a strong interest in the Moriori people, who not many people even know about these days.," Marie says.
The first in her series Hear the Sea Sing was published in July 2011 and she is working on having the second in the series And the Islands Cried published, too.
Marie doesn't like to restrict her writing to one style or genre and has also had a children's book Tricky Dicky published in 2012. With this book she teamed up with the pupils at Picton School who put their mark on the book by doing the illustrations.
"I can't really remember when I started writing, it's just something I have done all my life - it's a part of who I am," she says.
- The Marlborough Express