Welcome to the Dragon's Pen, the blog of an aspiring kiwi author ... chatting about reading, writing, querying and publishing

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Off on another Tangent

I haven't been doing much fiction writing lately. No. Let's be honest, I haven't done any.

My health has deteriorated over the last couple of weeks. My medical condition has come back to bite me on the bum ... and when we were doing so well too.

So I've not been writing stories or working on my novels or even doing any editing at all. Instead I've been working on a new and totally unrelated blog about my health and medical journey. If you're interested you can view it here.

In light of all this disruption I might not be blogging here as much as I usually would. Though even if I'm not writing I'm still reading and will, no doubt, have a few words to say about the latest literary treasures I'll be hiding in while all the medical nastiness unfolds around me.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Last Wednesday night I had the privilege to attend Vanda Symon's book launch for her fourth Sam Shepard detective novel, BOUND. It was a lovely evening out, hosted by Dunedin's own fabulous University bookshop.

Many of the reveiws I'd read said how un-put-downable this latest edition was and how they'd stayed up until the wee small hours because they just had to keep reading. So in spite of the fact that I was dying to read my new book, I decided to put it away until I had a few days off work which I could devote to Sam's latest adventure.

That day was today.

I shooed my kids out the door, ate breakfast, checked my email then curled up in my comfy chair with my feet up and opened the book. I took my nose out from between the pages only long enough to eat, do a bit of house work, help kids with homework, chat to a friend who stopped by, do some shopping and cook tea.

I finished BOUND this evening.

Evidently I was immersed!

Bound was a very enjoyable read. I was hooked from the first page and loved the twists and turns that complicated the plot.

I'm something of a fan of Vanda's (I now have all four of her books and all sighed by her. lol!). It has been fun watching Sam's character grow and mature and also to see Vanda's talent increase with each new book she has written.

Bound was a effortless, exciting read. The characters are so well drawn; genuine, flawed people. And of course, as ever, Dickhead Johns is fun to hate. Sam's feisty personality leaps off the page and her love of Dunedin is wonderfully evident.

I've no doubt that fans will in time come to Dunedin simply to visit the places that Vanda's characters go. The Fix for coffee. The Nova cafe. The Chinese Gardens. Marlow Park (the park by the beach, which my kids affectionately call "the Dinosaur Park"). Maybe even the police stations ...?

Here's the blurb for Bound:

A home invasion shocks the nation.

A man is murdered, his wife bound, gagged and left to watch.

But when Detective Sam Shephard scratches the surface, the victim, a successful businessman, is not all he seems to be. And when the evidence points to two of Dunedin's most hated criminals, the case seems cut and dried ... until the body count starts to rise.

Meanwhile, Sam is in big trouble again ...

So what next? Vanda is taking a break from Sam's adventures to write a dark thriller set in Auckland which is set to come out next year. So while I can't wait to read this new book, I hope maybe one day we'll get to see more of Sam.

If you haven't read Vanda's books, Overkill, The Ringmaster, Containment and Bound, I urge you to give them a go.

If you have, what do you think and which one is your favourite thus far?