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Publishing, art and war

No one said publishing wasn’t a frustrating business to be in. The last month saw the first print run of Evie’s War sold out. That should be good news. But… the shortage caught my publisher on the hop and thus bookshops couldn’t restock and customers couldn’t get the book when they wanted it.

For anyone who has been kept waiting: apologies. Evie’s War is being reprinted next week, and Penguin assures me it will be back on the shelves (and available to online retailers) within a fortnight. If your local store has a copy, grab it now – the new print run will hopefully go equally fast.

It’s great that there’s been so much interest. Based on the feedback I’ve received and comments from reviewers, booksellers, librarians and readers, it is proving a genuine ‘cross-over’ title – read by young adults, new adults, middling adults and even ancient adults – and is proving equally popular with male and female readers of all ages. As evidence, check out the latest pix sent by readers for the website Hall of Fame!

While I was in Wellington last week I visited Peter Jackson’s impressive Great War Exhibition. It’s well worth a visit if you're in the vicinity, offering a clever selection of images, stories and models to steer viewers through five turbulent years. Go along and check it out (but don’t be surprised to find queues and waiting times if you visit over a weekend). As well as featuring the familiar and disastrous Gallipoli campaign, it provides an overview of the subsequent (drawn-out and disastrous) Western Front years that are far less well known. Odd to say, but it’s a family outing with something for everyone – a bit like Evie’s War!

Another highlight of my brief visit to the capital was Shed 11’s exhibition by Max Patté: raw talent distilled by experience. Still on a cultural bent, you can make a personal contribution to the futuristic white city in the Demented Architure Exhibition at the City Gallery – and don’t miss the purposeful and provoking reworking of Lego boxes in the associated exhibition.

Three days used up my share of cultural out-and-abouting: it’s now back to the desk, where there’s a new book demanding my attention…

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