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Author of Whakatane-based novel launches Local Books venture

Author of Whakatane-based novel launching Local Books venture

1 September 2014

The author of a novel centred on a surfer facing challenges in Whakatane will be in the town on Saturday 7 September for the launch of a Local Books venture at the new Atlantis Books store on The Stand.

Mike Smith, who writes fiction under the non-de-plum “Mick Stone”, says using Whakatane as the central location for his novel was intentional.

“My family and I have been coming to Whakatane for the past 35 years, and the town and its surrounding area have seeped into my veins over that time.”

The novel “The Last Newspaper in the World” highlights the struggle of a young surfer, Bill Brown, who must come to terms with changes in his home town – dubbed Coastlands in the book – following the death of the mayor.

“Although he would much prefer to be out the back riding waves on this beautiful beach, he is pulled back across the hill to his family-run newspaper.”

As well as the coastal town, Bill’s search for the truth behind the death takes him to Te Teko and the races in Rotorua as a story of economic growth is balanced by the seamier side of bay life.

Local Books is a venture by Mr Smith’s company BMS Books to provide writers and independent publishers with more visibility in highly competitive book markets.

He said he adopted “Mick Stone” as a non-de-plume, after recalling how a sub-editor had mistakenly put the name on a story he wrote while working for a newspaper.

“The sub forgot to take it off before printing and the name stuck. I was furious at the time but always thought it might make a good non-de-plume one day.”

The launch will be at 10 am, Saturday 6 September; Atlantis Books, The Strand, Whakatane.

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