Great to see a new and re-jacketed edition of High Tide on the shelves!
It was my first novel, and remains popular with young readers (11 and up) and as a High School text - it's a distinctly New Zealand story filled with fast-paced adventure and, at a deeper level, an exploration of the way we react under pressure and the way crisis changes our understanding of ourselves and each other.
I re-read it before it went to print, and it was great to find myself enjoying it as much now as when I first wrote it. First published by Scholastic in 2003, it's also interesting to think about whether, and how, the world has changed in the intervening years.
The process of re-reading one of your own novels is interesting in itself. Though I knew the story, it was almost like reading work written by someone else - it's more than 15 years since I wrote the first draft, and I haven't read more than a page (aloud, at literary events, or to school groups) since it was released.
Then there's the whole question of tweaking. Writers and publishers don't feel especially strongly on this it seems, especially in this e-age when multiple re-workings of ebooks are all too common. Personally, I prefer to keep my early drafts to myself. But the general consensus seems to be that it's kosher to make those fine-brush tweaks that don't in any way impact on the story, and essential to correct proofing errors (I didn't find any but I know there's one in 'Out on the Edge' - looking forward to the re-release so that I can ensure it's corrected!). One teacher commented that it would make a fascinating study for a class if different editions are held in a class set and an on-to-it student spotted a tweak - I'd love to sit in on that discussion.
Some of my most enjoyable school visits over the past decade have been to classes who've studied one of my books as a set text. Once I heard that a Year 9 boasted about 'their' author coming in, and was told, quellingly, by an older student that her class was studying Shakespeare. "Yeah," was the reply, "and is he coming in to talk to you?"
I'd love it if he did - but in lieu of that, get in touch if I'll suffice in the meantime. Teaching notes and resource kits are available for all my novels.