How I Write: Gina Cole


In July this year Gina ColeNa Viro’s first novel has been published. It is a sci-fi novel set in the distant future and featuring Pacific culture.

What book would you have liked to write and why?

I just read Kurangaituku by Whiti Hereaka. I can see why he won the Jan Medlicott Prize for Fiction at the Ockhams. The structure is so clever, the sentences are beautiful, and I love how it centers a bird woman as the main character. I wish I had written it – I love it.

Which writer do you turn to when you have writer’s block?

I don’t know if I have writer’s block or if I’m just tired. But when that happens, I just enjoy the fictional novel that I’m reading at the time. Right now I’m reading The Visitor, a science fiction novel by CJ Cherryh.

What book had such an impact on you that you bought it for your friends?

A little life of Hanya Yanagihara.

* How I Write: Murdoch Stephens and the soundtracks of his books
* How do you write a good short story? “Make every one of these words count”
* How I Write: Shilo Kino, winner of the Young Adult Fiction Award

Author Gina Cole has just published her first novel, Na Viro.

Kelly Newland

Author Gina Cole has just published her first novel, Na Viro.

What book do you come back to over and over again to re-read?

I don’t really read books over and over unless I’m doing research. But when I was 14, I read The Godfather by Mario Puzo about 6 times.

Which authors would you like in your book club?

Nnedi Okorafor, Octavia Butler, NK Jemisin, Lani Wendt Young and Sisilia Eteuati.

What book did you read as a child or teenager that made a deep impression on you?

Pounamu Pounamu by Witi Ihimaera.

When it comes to a memorable book, which is more important, a great plot or great characters?

Great characters.

Gina Cole released Na Viro this year.

Priscilla North

Gina Cole released Na Viro this year.

What is your writing routine? Do you have a certain time of day when you like to write?

I get up, I have my breakfast, I do yoga or sword fight. Then I sit at my computer and write. Or I sit and stare at the screen, watching the cursor flash on a blank page with my hands resting on the keyboard. I like to write in the morning when I feel fresh and full of energy. I like to write in the middle of the day when I have stuff to sort out. Sometimes I like to write after midnight when it’s quiet.

And where do you write?

Most of the time I write at my desk in my home office. But I also like to sit outside in the garden and write in the sun.

What “must-read” book haven’t you read? Come on, confess

Aue by Becky Manawatu. It’s at the top of my pile of books to read!


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