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Vikings and Were-Nanas on the loose

Vikings and Were-Nanas on the loose

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9 November 2008

Viking fans go berserk

Auckland writer Melinda Szymanik found herself surrounded by Viking-wannabes at the launch of her latest book, Jack the Viking.

Benn Tombleson, Lawrence Kirby, Remek Norman, Jack Iles and Jamie Boyo (left to right, all 10, of Mt Eden) are keen to be among the first to rip into the children’s novel that sees timid Auckland school boy Jack Fletcher transported back to 11th century Norway in the time of Eric Bloodaxe.

“It’s a journey from a world of school sports, the All Blacks and reality TV to long boats, Berserkers and blood feuds,” says Ms Szymanik, who completed the novel while on the New Zealand Society of Authors Mentoring Scheme.

Jack the Viking was launched by publishers Scholastic at Mt Eden’s Mainly Toys, along with Ms Szymanik’s latest picture book The Were-Nana (Not a Bed-Time Story), illustrated by central Auckland illustrator Sarah Anderson.

“While one book is a novel and the other a picture book, both have a theme of overcoming fears. I’m thinking I should stay with that theme and do my next book about public speaking,” she joked at the launch.

Ms Szymanik says she’s written a sequel to the novel, titled Jack the Viking: Magnetic North.


Notes to Editor:

• The launch was held at Mainly Toys on Saturday, 8 November.
• “Berserkers” were Norse warriors said to have fought in fits of rage, hence the modern word “berserk”.
• Melinda Szymanik has now had three books published. The first was a picture book titled Clever Moo, also published by Scholastic in 2006.

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