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Wisdom beyond seeing, Cowley launches novella

New Zealand’s favourite children’s author is leaning into love with the launch of her first novella – Blind Date.

Featherston resident Joy Cowley is showcasing two new works at a Booktown event today.

One is a classic Greedy Cat story, the other, a romance novella set in a rest home.

Cowley, who has been writing books since the ‘70s, said she began creating her own stories after finding her children’s books lacked substance.

“I found that children must read for meaning, so I wrote things that interested them.

“I got them to tell me their stories and break them down into simple language,” she said.

Cowley said had been writing about Greedy Cat for decades after a child gave her
the idea in the 1980s.

Several decades and several instalments later, the series has stuck to its roots: A greedy cat, a loving family, and illustrations by Robyn Belton.

“Robyn has always done very fine illustrations, and there’s always humour in the stories.

Cowley said the latest edition is set over Christmas, and
Aunty, who has come to stay, tries to force Greedy Cat
to eat cat biscuits rather
than Christmas turkey.

“Christmas is very important to children.

“I’ve run writing workshops for adults that often involve Christmas stories,” Cowley said.

Blind Date, on the other hand, was Cowley’s first novella.

The story, told over a single day, was a tale of love between a lonely man and woman who meet in a rest home.

The woman is almost blind, and the man has throat cancer and is unable to speak.

Cowley said over the course of the day, the couple learn about themselves.

She said her husband, Terry, went into a rest home last year.

“I put a little note in the back [of the book], explaining about Terry being in a rest home, observing the other people there.

“I’m very aware too that I’m 86 myself; I have macular degeneration, so I’m almost blind.

“As you age, you gather a lot of experience, but the body starts breaking down.

“Wisdom all comes from life experience and the choices we make.

Blind Date is all about wisdom beyond seeing.”

    The launch, hosted by Featherston Booktown runs from 1.30-3.30pm this afternoon at Featherston RSA. Entry is free.

Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age who regularly writes about education. He is originally from Wellington and is interested in environmental issues and public transport.

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