I set up Booklovers Writers Residency because it is the kind of place I like to go when writing and researching. My first experience of such a place was Arteles Creative Residency in Finland; it was great to have one’s own space within a building in which everyone was working on a project.
In the summer, this house works as Booklovers B&B. I bought the house in 1999 because I needed to find a way to write and earn a living – the big problem for writers. I had already spent 20 years bobbing from writing project to job and back again while producing a New Zealand Book Award-winning biography of Ettie Rout and a best-selling oral history, Convent Girls as well as in the Shadow of War and Sixties Chicks.
Having spent about a decade grappling with running a small business, I have since produced: It’s Time We Started Telling These Stories, An Awfully Big Adventure, Make Her Praises Heard Afar: New Zealand women overseas in World War I and But I Changed All That: ‘First’ New Zealand women. In 2016, I became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to history.