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Writer Launches Children’s Book Focusing on Tss Earnslaw


Arrowtown Writer Launches Children’s Book Focusing on Tss Earnslaw

September 8 2012: Celebrated Arrowtown children’s author Alma Stevenson has launched a new book which coincides with the TSS Earnslaw centenary in October this year entitled Joe’s Journey on the Earnslaw.

She has published six books which include her first book Old Red about an old restored family Austin truck which is eventually donated to the Arrow Miners’ Band and the highly popular Zac Mac the All Black.

Appropriately launching her new book on board the TSS Earnslaw on Saturday (September 8,) Alma who is suffering from ill-health, told friends and family that writing the book has been “as much a journey for me as it was for Joe. It has provided a great distraction and a positive focus away from my continuing battle with this dreaded disease.”

Alma’s motto is “it’s not what happens to you it’s how you deal with it” a philosophy which she has clearly demonstrated with her ability to write and publish her latest work in spite of her illness.

Her simple but poignant story is about Joe who is confined to a wheelchair and has a fascination with boats, in particular the TSS Earnslaw. His grandfather gives him a trip on the steamer as a birthday present and the books follows his adventure and eventual operation which enables him to walk.

“I have had this book in my mind for a while,” says Alma. “The Earnslaw has been part of my life and my parents travelled on her on their honeymoon in 1928. My father-in-law used to meet the Earnslaw regularly to unload wool and grain on to her and I am pleased to have included some of the family’s original and historic photos in the book.”

Joe’s Journey on the Earnslaw is illustrated by well-known illustrator Robyn Handtscheower, alias P.G.Rob, who lives in the Cardrona Valley and has illustrated all Alma’s children’s books.

Alma paid tribute to her skills in bringing Joe and the other characters to life – “Robyn is the other half of my book.”

Robyn considers the harmonious working relationship and the trust she and Alma share is the reason for their successful formula.

“Alma is one of the two best authors I have worked with. She is a natural, traditional storyteller making it very easy to illustrate her work. I work in water colours for her books which is a great medium and suits the printing process.”

Real Journeys spokesperson Tracey Maclaren says Joe’s Journey on the Earnslaw is an ideal book to help enhance the steamer’s 100th birthday celebrations.

“We are delighted to be able to include this book in our centenary celebrations and I am confident it will have wide appeal. Alma Stevenson is a wonderful writer and a very special person in our community and we welcome her contribution to our celebrations.”

For further information about author Alma Stevenson: www.almastevenson.co.nz

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