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What a character

A monthly column by Wairarapa Library Service where people in our community are interviewed about their love of books. This week, Madeleine Slavick, assistant librarian, adult programmes, talks with local author Pia Buck.

I meet up with author Pia Buck on a Tuesday afternoon at a café. I had read her most recent book It Takes Tea to Tango, but we both order coffees.

The Amazon bestselling author says she has always been a writer and a reader and that as a child at her parents’ parties, she would curl up somewhere and write stories on the paper plates.

It was May 2019 that Pia’s first book, Love Me True, was published; she timed the release date to coincide with her late father’s birthday. Pia credits her love of words to her mother, who loved to read, as well as to her high school teacher, who introduced her to the works of Shakespeare.

Pia has nine books to her name. Well, under the pen name Melissa Crosby – Melissa is her middle name. She mostly writes romance and women’s fiction, but her next book – due out in 2024 – will be a psychological thriller.

“I am both nervous and excited to be working in a new genre.”

“On a good day, I write about 2000 words and one of the places where I like to write is the library. It offers the right kind of ambience. People walking, working, talking – not too loud, but not too quiet either.”

Pia recently started up Write Now Wairarapa, a small group of writers who come together twice a month at the library. After a short check-in of where everyone is at with their writing and publishing, they work for two hours. There’s a beautiful, palpable power in a group of people writing all together yet apart. And refreshments – a carafe or two of fresh mint water at the table.

Pia has a wide set of skills. She took university courses in International Studies before moving to Doha to join Qatar Airways as a flight attendant and then in corporate relations. She bakes exquisitely, recently running the very successful store, All You Need is Cake. She also worked in recruitment for 10 years.

“It was fun, but I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do long-term. I work best on my own and writing allows me to do just that.”

Pia also cherishes family time. Four years ago this month, she and her husband and her two children moved to the Wairarapa. Happy Anniversary, Pia and happy fifth year ahead.

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