Introducing the Editor
Qualification: Diploma in Publishing,
Whitireia Polytechnic School of Arts, Wellington, New Zealand.
My work history includes 10 years as an editorial staff feature writer and former feature sub-editor with the Otago Daily Times, in Dunedin, in New Zealand’s South Island; further back, a decade as a commercial copywriter and production co-ordinator for radio and television, in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia); and several years writing for the former Sun News Pictorial daily paper, in Melbourne, Australia. More latterly, based in New Zealand’s North Island city of New Plymouth, I have worked as a freelance book editor in association with Zenith Publishing and its self-publishing arm – PublishMe, as well as regularly contributing to the property, lifestyle supplement and advertising feature pages of Taranaki Newspapers Ltd.
During my years with the Otago Daily Times, I wrote about everything and everyone: from the memories of World War II veterans, to historical features and news backgrounders; quirky human interest stories, personal travel adventures, fashion, food, television, art, contemporary architecture and magnificent old mansions. (I was, at various times, editor of the fashion, food, television and property pages.)
I’ve interviewed the rich and famous and the down and desperate. I’ve penned pieces about taking over the controls of a light aircraft on a joyride with a flying instructor, to flying in a Hercules on an NZAF exercise in Central Otago; dining with a bunch of ex-cons in a halfway house in Dunedin, to being woken in the middle of the night by a terrified neighbour and his dog being terrorised by drug dealers; keeping elephants at bay in the midst of a Zimbabwean game park, while the game ranger tinkered with a broken-down 4-wheel-drive, to interviewing a couple of ex-Kiwi jeans manufacturers running a pub and animal orphanage, complete with a drunken cockatoo and a bunch of feisty camels, in Outback Australia.
In 2003, I embarked on a Diploma in Publishing, motivated by an appreciation of good writing and its ability to inform, educate and entertain, and a desire to play editorial midwife in helping to mould and shape it.